The Supreme Court has stayed execution of death sentence awarded to a man accused of rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Uttarakhand.
Granting leave for appeal to the accused, the bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has called for lower court records.
This is a case where the Uttarakhand High Court had confirmed the death sentence awarded to Karandeep Sharma who was awarded capital punishment by a Sessions court in April 2017, for raping an 8-year-old girl and causing her death.
Holding it as a ‘rarest of rare’ case, the bench had observed: “The convict is a menace to the society and he shall continue to be so and he cannot be reformed. The convict had stooped so low as to unleash his monstrous self on the innocent, helpless and defenceless child.”
The division bench of the high court, while dismissing the appeal by the accused, had also recommended the state government to enact in three months a suitable legislation for awarding death sentence to those found guilty of raping girls of 15 years or below.
“The Court is coming across a number of cases where the victims, aged 15 years or below, are being raped and murdered. There should be deterrence. Though, it is for the State Government to bring an appropriate legislation to impose death sentence upon the convicts who are found guilty in cases of rape, however, the Court can always make suggestions/ recommendations to the State Government to bring a suitable Legislation to impose a stringent sentence upon the persons who are found guilty in the cases of committing rape on the victims aged 15 years or below. Accordingly, we recommend/suggest to the State Government to enact suitable legislation for awarding death sentence to those found guilty of raping girls aged 15 years or below within three month,” the high court had said.
Anyhow, the Central Government, in the wake of Kathua and Unnao incidents, has brought in an ordinance providing the death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age and other stringent penal provisions for rape.