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HomeNews Reports'Every sinner has a future': SC commutes the death sentence of Mohd. Firoz, convicted...

‘Every sinner has a future’: SC commutes the death sentence of Mohd. Firoz, convicted of rape and murder of a 4-year-old girl

Noting that it is important to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused and to become a socially useful individual when he is released from jail, the apex court commuted the death sentence of Firoz who was accused of rape and murder of a minor girl.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday has cancelled the death sentence announced upon rape and murder convict Mohd. Firoz. The apex court challenged the legality of the judgement passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur in 2014 stating that ‘every sinner has a future.’

On Wednesday, the three-member bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi pronounced the order observing that the maximum punishment prescribed may not always be the determinative factor for repairing the crippled psyche of the offender. The bench re-examined the evidence in the case and held a view that the prosecution was very conclusive in order to rule out the possibility of any other hypothesis except the guilt of the accused.

Madhya Pradesh HC announced the death sentence to Firoz for rape and murder of a minor girl

In 2014, the Sessions Court in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni Court had registered offences under various sections of the IPC and was directed to undergo life imprisonment in one of them. The Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur awarded the death sentence to Mohd. Firoz Khan in the same year.

The high court had dismissed the appeal of accused Firoz and confirmed the death sentence for him. Upon the death sentence, the SC panel held that it deems proper to commute the sentence of death for the sentence of imprisonment for life under Section 302 of the IPC. The panel asserted that owing to Section 376A of the IPC, the sentence of imprisonment would have been appropriate considering the gravity and seriousness of the offence.

Highlighting the tenets of restorative justice, the panel in its hearing quoted British Novelist Oscar Wilde saying, “The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”. The court observed that it is important to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused and to become a socially useful individual when he is released from jail. Hence, the Court finally pronounced, “While balancing the scales of retributive justice and restorative justice, we deem it appropriate to impose upon the appellant-accused, the sentence of imprisonment for a period of twenty years instead of imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life for the offence under section 376A.”

The case of Prosecution

The case unfolded in 2013 when two accused Md. Firoz Khan and Rakesh Chaudhary visited a home to provide accommodation to the said unknown person for a day. When the mother of the victim was denied, Rakesh Choudhary left while Firoz Khan grabbed an opportunity to kidnap the 4-year-old victim girl playing in the courtyard of the house.

The victim’s family had registered a missing complaint at the local police station. The next day, the girl was found lying unconscious in the field in MP’s Ghansaur. The victim died in Nagpur during the treatment in April 2013 while the postmortem report confirmed the occurrence of rape upon the girl child. The two accused were arrested from Husainabad in Bihar’s Bhagalpur and were tried before the trial court. Rakesh Chaudhary, who was earlier awarded life imprisonment, was acquitted from all charges levelled against him while the Madhya Pradesh High Court awarded Mohd. Firoz with a death sentence.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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