A court here on Thursday sentenced a man to rigorous imprisonment for life for kidnapping, raping and murdering a six-year-old girl in 2015.
The court remarked that the convict committed a “cold-blooded rape and murder”. The act was so gruesome and inhumane that the convict did not deserve any leniency or sympathy from the court, it said.
Ravinder was convicted on May 6 for the offences under section 6 of the POCSO Act (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), besides IPC sections, including 376 A (punishment for causing death or resulting in a persistent vegetative state of the victim) and 302 (murder).
“The offence does not fall in the rarest of the rare category… but the act of the convict is so gruesome and inhumane that he does not deserve any leniency or sympathy from the court,” Assistant Sessions Judge Sunil Kumar said.
The judge said the crime was no less than an “act of a predator” and it has shaken the conscience of the society.
“The child cannot be expected to provoke the convict to sexually assault her and kill her. The offence committed by the convict was a cold-blooded rape and murder,” the judge said.
Taking note of the evidence, the judge said there were a lot of signs of struggle at the crime scene which showed that the victim had resisted Ravinder but the “convict was like a monster and had not shown even a little pity and humanity towards the innocent child”.
“It is clear that in the present case, the victim was an innocent child of six years of age and was helpless and she was even unaware of the intention and lust of the convict. The convict had subjected her to the forceful penetrative sexual assault and then mercilessly strangulated her to death,” ASJ Kumar said.
“I am of the firm view that no leniency should be taken towards the convict and the maximum punishment should be given to the convict so that a message should be given in the society that there is no sympathy for the criminals in our judicial system and every convict shall be awarded adequate sentence,” the judge added.
The court sentenced Ravinder to rigorous life imprisonment, which meant “imprisonment for the remainder of the convict’s natural life”.
The court also sentenced him under IPC sections 302, 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage, etc.) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and said all sentences will run concurrently.
A total fine of Rs 50,000 was also imposed on the convict.
The court, however, did not agree to the public prosecutor’s submission demanding the death penalty for the convict, saying though the prosecution had proved the case against Ravinder beyond a reasonable doubt, there were some “lingering or residual doubts” in the case.
“I have no hesitation to say that the present case does not fall in the rarest of the rare case to award the death sentence to the convict,” the judge said and directed that a compensation of Rs 15 lakh be provided to the parents of the victim.