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In one of latter-day rare cases, SC upholds death sentence

The Supreme Court Wednesday upheld the death sentence of Vasanta Sampat Dupare who was convicted for raping a four-year-old minor girl child and then battering her to death.

Dismissing Dupare’s appeal, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said: “We find, not only the rape was committed in a brutal manner but murder was also committed in a barbaric manner. The rape of a minor girl child is nothing but a monstrous burial of her dignity in the darkness.”

Holding that the case came under the category of rarest of rare cases, the court said: “It is inconceivable from the perspective of the society that a married man aged about two scores and seven make a four year minor innocent girl child the prey of his lust and deliberately causes her death. A helpless and defenceless child gets raped and murdered because of the acquaintance of the appellant (Dupare) with the people of the society.”

“It is a crime against the holy body of a girl child and the soul of the society and such a crime is aggravated by the manner in which it has been committed. The nature of the crime and the manner in which it has been committed speaks about its uncommonness. The crime speaks of depravity, degradation and uncommonality,” said Justice Misra speaking for the bench.

Describing the murder “diabolical and barbaric”, the court said: “The crime was committed in an inhuman manner. Indubitably, these go a long way to establish the aggravating circumstances.”

Rejecting the plea by Dupare’s counsel that he was in his mid-50s and there is possibility of his reformation, the court said: “Be it noted, the appellant (Dupare) was aged about 47 years at the time of commission of the crime. As is noticeable, there has been no remorse on the part of the appellant.”

“There are cases when this court has commuted the death sentence to life finding that the accused has expressed remorse or the crime was not pre-meditated. But the obtaining factual matrix when unfolded stage by stage would show the premeditation, the proclivity and the rapacious desire,” the court said rejecting his plea for commuting the sentence.

The court also noted that Dupare had a criminal record and had number of cases are pending against him.

Not persuaded that Dupare would get reformed, the court said: “The appalling cruelty shown by him to the minor girl child is extremely shocking and it gets accentuated, when his age is taken into consideration. It was not committed under any mental stress or emotional disturbance and it is difficult to comprehend that he would not commit such acts and would be reformed or rehabilitated.”

As the circumstances would graphically depict, the court said Dupare “would remain a menace to the society, for a defenceless child has become his prey. In our considered opinion, there are no mitigating circumstances”.

Dupare was convicted and awarded death sentence by the Nagpur additional sessions judge Feb 23, 2012. The same was confirmed by the Bombay high court.

The Supreme Court had stayed a string of death row cases during the tenures of chief justices P Sathasivam and RM Lodha, often after inordinate delay in executing the sentence.

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