MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction and death penalty given to a 38-year-old man by a Nashik court in northern Maharashtra in a case of honour killing.
A bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi upheld the death penalty given to Eknath Kumbharkar, convicted for killing his 18-year-old pregnant daughter in 2013, because she had married outside their caste.
A sessions court in Nashik had convicted Kumbharkar and given him the death sentence in June 2017.
Following this, the Maharashtra government had approached the HC seeking that the death penalty be confirmed as per procedure to pave way for its execution.
In its verdict pronounced on Tuesday, the HC bench said there was adequate evidence, including the medical and forensic evidence on record, to prove that Kumbharkar strangled his daughter to death because he was unhappy with her inter-caste marriage.
The victim was nine months pregnant at the time time of her death.
The bench took note of the submission of Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde that Kumbharkar had not merely killed his daughter, but had also caused the death of her foetus.
The bench said Kumbharkar had been carrying a grudge in his heart and believed his daughter had brought him and his family disrepute by marrying outside their caste.
He, therefore, planned to kill her and was aware of the consequences of his action, the judges maintained and described him as a "menace to the society".
The case, the bench said, fits in the category of the rarest of rare one of the pre-requisites for giving the capital punishment in a case.
"On the day of incident, the accused, in a planned manner, went to the house of Pramila (the victim). The accused committed a brutal murder of his own daughter, he also caused the death of her unborn child," the bench noted.
It said Kumbharkar broke the traditional values that exist between a father and a daughter.
"The accused (Kumbharkar), in a planned manner, committed a diabolic and gruesome murder of his own daughter and his grandchild.
The accused was well aware of the consequences of his act.
"This transgression of murdering his pregnant daughter requires the maximum punishment. The accused broke the traditional values between a father and a daughter. He is nothing but a menace to the society, the bench said while upholding Kumbharkars death sentence.