Even as there is a nationwide
outrage and demand for death to rapists, the Supreme Court had
commuted the capital punishment to life imprisonment for a
young man who raped a pregnant women and killed her great
mother-in-law on the ground that the accused was drunk and not
in a normal state of mind.
Three days before the brutal gangrape and assault of a
23-year-old girl in a moving bus in Delhi that had led to a
countrywide outcry, the apex court was of the view that the
mental condition of an accused be examined before putting the
offence in the rarest of the rare category.
The court had commuted the death sentence to life term of
a convict in Pune, who had raped the woman and killed her
relative on the ground that he was drunk at the time of
committing the offence.
A bench of justices Swatanter Kumar (now retired) and
Madan B Lokur had said the manner in which the crime was
committed, the mental condition of accused must be examined
before putting the offence in the rarest of rare category.
"It is not only the crime and its various facets which
are the foundation for formation of special reasons as
contemplated under Section 354(3) of the CrPC (pertaining to
death sentence) for imposing death penalty but it is also the
criminal, his background," the bench had said.
In the case, convict Sainath Kailash Abhang (then 23-
year- old) had, on September 10, 2007, entered the woman's
house in Pune and had killed her. He had then mercilessly
chopped off the wrist of her left hand and four fingers of the
After committing the gruesome act, he repeatedly
assaulted a pregnant relative of the deceased and raped her.
The court after going through all the evidences,
including the statement of the injured lady, who said the
convict was drunk, had granted him the relief.
Strongly reacting to the court's recent judgement, the
victim's family today said the perpetrator of the crime had
"no right to live".
Speaking on behalf of the family, advocate D Y Jadhav,
who had fought the case as public prosecutor in Pune sessions
court which had awarded death penalty to the accused that was
later upheld by the High court, told PTI, " This was one of
the rarest of the rare cases. My client was very keen on death
penalty to the perpetrator of the heinous crime and is