The Bombay high court on Wednesday admitted the appeal filed by a 22-year-old man challenging the death penalty awarded to him for raping and murdering a minor girl and would commence hearing from February 5.
Raju Jagdish Paswan, hailing from Bihar, was convicted 1last year for murdering and raping a nine-year-old girl in June 2010 in Sangli district of Maharashtra. The sessions court had termed the case as falling under ‘rarest of rare’ category and awarded him death penalty.
When the matter came for confirmation before the high court, it directed for the accused to be produced before it so as to know if he wants to file an appeal against the conviction.
The high court on the last hearing appointed advocate Niteen Pradhan to appear for the accused who filed an appeal on Wednesday.
Admitting the appeal, a division bench of Justices N H Patil and A R Joshi today said it would start hearing the case on a day-to-day basis from February 5.
The incident dates back to June 21, 2010 when the victim had gone missing from her house in Bedag village in Sangli district. The victim's father had lodged a missing complaint. During probe the police learnt that the victim was last seen with the accused, who used to live in the vicinity.
According to prosecution, when the accused was detained and interrogated he revealed that he had raped the girl and murdered her and then dumped her body in a well.
While awarding Paswan death penalty, the lower court observed that he had committed a heinous crime of raping an innocent child and that it was a ‘cold blooded murder’.
"After satisfying his lust the accused threw the girl into the well. An innocent girl was ravished by the accused for his lust. The accused is a menace to the society and there are no chance of reform. He does not deserve any leniency," the sessions court observed.
It also held that the social impact such incidents have should also be considered. "When such cases are rampant a message should be given to society that such heinous crimes will result in extreme punishment," the court said.