Raju Jagdish Paswan vs. the State of Maharashtra
By Asif Iqbal
In one the recent, ruling remitted by the bench of being composed of Justice SA Bobde, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice R. Subhash Reddy scrutinised grimly that the aggravated murder of a nine-year-old inevitably contains moral wickedness and the peculiar manner in which the crime was ostensibly perpetrated by the arrested accused is wicked and brutal. This criminal case between Raju Jagdish Paswan, the arrested accused (Appellant) and the State of Maharashtra, the respondent and this assessment need to be analysed in the method to which it has been allegedly decreed by the bench in the converting a death sentence into an Imprisonment for thirty years.
Facts of the rape case:
On 21.6.2010, a complaint was filed by Hanmant Shesharu Shirsat in Miraj rural police station which was about his vanished daughter who was of 9 years and studying in the fourth standard at Shri Samarth Ashram School, Bedag went missing. This unfolded him to locate her in school when she didn't come back till 5'o clock on that day and made familiarised by her class teacher that she didn't show up to attend her class. He approached a boy, Akash (PW-4) regarding his daughter that she was borne by a guy wearing mourning clothes to the sugarcane field in Odya Village. At that time, the victim’s father went towards the field with the police in search of her daughter where they found her school record book. The investigative team of police searched further in which they investigated few around the place, there a man named Sidram Sakharam Khade (PW-13) who merely owns a provision store gave information regarding a guy allegedly wearing soiled clothes made his store in buying tobacco. Thereby, the group of villagers' along with the Police went to the Balakrishnan Poultry Farm to get the idea about the man wearing filthy clothes. Moreover, Shirsat (victim's Father) also work in the same poultry farm and the appellant denied conveying any information regarding the gone girl. During the interrogation made by the police, the appellant revealed he killed the girl and dragged her to sugarcane farm indulged in a forceful consummation. He shut her mouth in not allowing the scream and threw her body in the well. An FIR was registered against the Appellant under section 302, 376 & 201 of IPC'1860. The post-mortem report was submitted in the court by Dr Sunil Patil & Juber Momin were froth was coming out from the victim's mouth, nasal was bleeding. In the report, the mentioned cutis anersia on both her hand and sole of the feet, the redness was found around the vagina along with anal. There was evidence of intercourse, and the cause of her death was due to drowning.
The trial court examined the recovered evidence which was submitted by the investigative committee of Police containing the report from the doctors. They scarcely considered the following aggravating and mitigating circumstances when they solemnly pronounce the probationary sentence under section 302, 376 (2) (f) & 201 of IPC. It was the accused was working in the same factory in which victims' father, was serving and residing in the same place as the factory. They consider the fact that the accused possessed a piece of knowledge regarding the victim's school timing and her going alone for studying. There isn't any sort of traffic from the road of the village to the factory and the distance from where the girl was seized from temple to sugarcane is around one kilometre. The place where the incident had happened was provided to the Judges in the trial court in the form of photographs of sugarcane field which affirmed there believe that passerby on the road cannot perceive the things in the field properly. The arrested accused had allegedly committed both natural as well as unnatural intercourse which made here unconscious. During the intercourse, he made to shut his mouth which made the froth came out from her mouth and lead to nasal bleeding. Later he committed an act of throwing her body inside the well which was away 150 sq.ft from the place of the incident. This scarcely formed a foregone conclusion amongst the judges in trial court that there shall not be any sort of leniency upon the appalling crime irrevocably committed by the arrested accused and judgment was scarcely pronounced that he should be in contrast hanged by his neck till his death for committing an unlawful act under section 302 of IPC.
The High Court of Bombay:
The High Court of Bombay went through the case which has been produced to the bench. They gave an affirmation to the sentence to death under section 302, 376 and 201 of IPC. It was gripped by the bench that the appellant is responsible for the horrendous crime in ruining an innocent girl of age nine. Despite the victim being in an unconscious state, the girl was thrown in the well which leads to her death by drowning which cannot be accepted on the spur of the moment, which reflects action which was committed had been pre-planned which lead in the execution into a brutal manner. They mentioned that the action which was committed by the accused showcases his lechery which he tried to satisfy. The action happened on the small girl and not on the grown-up woman as she couldn't have offered any slight resistance against it. The accused age isn't of that age where there could be visibility to reform, and this action cannot be committed in future. There wasn't any sort of repentance in committing the crime committed by him. During, the evaluation they prevented the accused under the rarest of the rare case and termed as the menace to the society. Thereby, they approved the decision to intake the order of the trial court to hang the accused until his death.
The Supreme Court
The honourable bench of Supreme Court had rejected the death sentence made by the previous courts under the guidelines which have been laid down by The Honourable Supreme Court in sentencing the accused convicted of murder. Capital punishment is only possible when the alternative option is unimpeachably foreclosed. They mentioned in their judgment which said a savage sentence is an anathema to the civilized jurisprudence under article 21 of the Constitution of India. Later, the apex court turned the decision to hang the accused till death and serving fourteen years imprisonments will not serve good towards society in considering the gravity of the activity in which the offender had indulged. The court considered cases like Tattu Lodhi v. The State of MP & Anil Kumar v.state of Haryana. Consequently, the court decided to partly allow and the sentence of death was removed to impose upon the offender.
Whatever, the decision has been made by the apex court by mentioning about capital punishment cannot be provided to a person committing a despicable crime and it is possible only if there is an alternative option unimpeachably foreclosed. Though it will not decrease the criminal and there is a problem which is present where we need to develop a psychological aspect of an individual indulging into a brutal criminal activity as both the courts in the trial as well as high court mentioned about the no repentance of the mistake committed by the accused of his activity. The government needs to establish such committee which can frame stricter rule to restrict the heinous activity and district organization which can look towards the psychological understanding of an individual. The annual budget needs to be brought by the government both in the state as well as Centre to invest in establishing a health and medical centre to provide support to the survivor.