Supreme Court Set Aside The Death Penalty Of Man Convicted For Murdering His Sister And Her Lover






Case Title: Digambar vs State of Maharashtra

A three-judge bench of Justice  BR Gavai, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Sanjay Karol of Supreme Court set aside the death penalty given to a man and commuted into life imprisonment.

The bench said that the accused was not a person with criminal mindset and criminal records.

“Appellant-Digambar has been found to be well-behaved, helping and a person with leadership qualities. He is not a person with criminal mindset and criminal records”.

The background of the case

The sister of the convict Pooja had got married in the year 2017. However, she was having a love affair with Govind.  In July 2017, she left her matrimonial home and went with the Govind. The accused Digambar brother of Pooja, was apprehensive that she must have gone with Govind.

One night when Govind’s phone was switched off, the two convicts when to the place of  Govind where they found Pooja with him. The accused convinced Pooja that he will help her to marry Govind and then take them with him in a motorcycle.

After reaching his aunt’s place, the accused tried to convince his sister Pooja and her lover Govind against the relationship but they both refused to heed him. Then the accused  took out the sickle and attacked Pooja and Govind resulting in the death of the both.

The trial court sentenced Digambar to death penalty and Mohan to life imprisonment.

The order was challenged by the accused to the High Court where the high court upheld the trial’s court order.

The bench observed that “The burden to show as to what happened after leaving the house would shift on the accused in view of Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act. It is to be noted that what transpired after the accused left along with the deceased, is only within the knowledge of the accused. However, the accused persons have utterly failed to discharge the said burden”.

The top court was of the view that the will not under the ‘rarest of rare’ case category.

“The medical evidence would further reveal that the appellants have not acted in a brutal manner, inasmuch as there is only single injury inflicted on both the deceased. As such, we find that the present case cannot be considered to be ‘rarest of rare’ case,”.

Thus, the bench set aside the death penalty and commuted it to life imprisonment.

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