NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the review petition filed by serial killer Umesh Reddy, who has been charged with ghastly rapes and murders of several women and sentenced him to death.
Umesh Reddy, a former police constable, gained notoriety for his sex crimes, raping women even after murdering them. This particular case pertains to the rape and murder of a widow in Peenya, Bengaluru in February 1998.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the review plea.
Karnataka High Court had previously termed Reddy as a violent offender and described the case as the rarest of the rare and directed that it deserves only death sentence. The High Court said, “In this case, he is an ex-policeman who has become a habitual pervert, who not only commits robbery but also to satisfy his lust, attacks helpless women and commits rape.”
A trial court in 2006 had awarded Reddy the capital punishment. But a year later, a two-member bench of the High Court expressed a divergent view - one favouring the death sentence and another life term on an appeal by him.
Reddy faced 21 criminal cases of which he was acquitted in 11. The remaining nine cases were related to rape, murder and robbery.
During the hearings, advocate Anita Shenoy, appearing for the Karnataka High Court’s registrar general, submitted that there was no mitigating factor in favour of the petitioner to rescue him from the death penalty earlier upheld by the apex court in 2011.
“Even a single case of brutal murder is enough to award death penalty. The issue at hand is whether such a person can be reformed. The fact that he has criminal propensity cannot be ignored. The petitioner, who faced 21 cases, had twice run away from police custody,” Shenoy submitted.
A five-judge Constitution bench had on February 9, 2014, had held that all the review petitions in case of death penalty should be heard in an open court as a matter of right of the condemned prisoners.