SC commutes death sentence to 25-yr life term in brutal murder of 8-yr old

New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a minimum 25-year jail term on two persons who were concurrently awarded death penalty by the Bombay High Court for the cold-blooded killing of an eight-year-old boy of a Nagpur-based dentist couple in 2014.

A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, Indu Malhotra and Hemant Gupta said that after having considered all the circumstances and facts on record, the bench was of the considered view that the present case fell short of the “rarest of rare” cases where a death sentence alone deserved to be awarded to the appellants — Arvind Singh and his associate in this case.

The apex court though concurred with the finding of the trial court and the high court that the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

The convicts had posed as employees of the dental clinic run by the dentist couple and kidnapped the boy. Later, they demanded ransom before killing the child.

“The motive of the accused to take life was to become rich by not doing hard work but by demanding ransom after kidnapping a young, innocent boy of 8 years,” said the court.

The court noted that the accused took the life of the young school going boy to become rich and to take vengeance against his father. The counsel of the accused argued that since the accused were young, aged about 19 years at the time of the crime, and had no criminal antecedents, the death sentence imposed upon them was not warranted.

“We do not find any merit in the argument that being young or having no criminal antecedents are mitigating circumstances. What is required to be examined is whether there is a possibility of rehabilitation and whether it is the rarest of the rare case where the collective conscience of the community is so shocked that it will expect the holders of judicial power to inflict death penalty, irrespective of their personal opinion as regards desirability or otherwise of retaining death penalty,” said the court.

The court noted that the manner of commission of murder was extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting or dastardly.

“It is further observed and directed that there shall not be any remission of the life term till the accused complete 25 years of imprisonment,” said the court.