Asserting that the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in 2019 by two accused, including the victim’s cousin, whom she trusted, falls into the ‘rarest of the rare’ category, the court of additional sessions judge Amar Jeet Singh ( fast track special court under the POCSO Act) awarded capital punishment to the convicts on Wednesday.
The convicts include 25-year-old Vinod Shah and 23-year-old Rohit Kumar Sharma, both residents of Doraha and hailing from district Damriya in Uttar Pradesh. The court, while passing the order, stated that the ‘convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead’. Both the convicts have also been ordered to pay a fine of ₹2 lakh each.
The case was registered on March 10, 2019, under sections 302, 376-A, and 363 of IPC and sections 3, 4 and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
As per the prosecution, two youths, including the cousin of the minor girl, raped and murdered her after taking her home on the pretext of getting her toffees. The incident happened near Lakkar Mandi in Doraha. The accused Vinod Shah was the victim’s cousin and had come with a bottle of liquor and then took the girl along.
After her daughter did not return, her mother began looking for her and informed the police. The girl’s half-naked body with her head smashed was then recovered from a vacant warehouse near railway lines.
The name of the second accused cropped up during the investigation. The duo had raped the minor girl and later smashed her head with bricks in cold blood and left her for dead in a vacant warehouse.
WHAT THE COURT SAID
While pronouncing the verdict, the court stated, “A rape is a crime more heinous than murder as it destroys the very soul of the hapless woman and in this case, the victim was also murdered after being raped. The convict being the relative took the victim in front of her parents on the pretext of giving her candies and then ravished her chastity and killed her brutally,” said the court.
“Such criminals are a danger to the society at large and are beyond reformation. The court is of the firm opinion that the case falls into the category of ‘rarest of the rare’ crimes and calls for capital punishment
The convicts committed such a horrible crime with a girl of tender age who went with convict Vinod Shah after imposing her faith in him that she is being taken for buying candies.
While pronouncing the death sentence, the court relied on aggravating circumstances which established that the case fell into the category of rarest of the rare cases.
The aggravating circumstances included that the victim was an innocent girl, 7 years old, at the time she was murdered.
“She was defenceless and unprotected. On the other hand, the convicts Vinod Shah and Rohit Kumar Sharma are in their twenties and capable of understanding the consequences of their act,” said the court.
“The despicable nature of the offence shocked society. The conduct of both the convicts while committing the crime reflects of their bestiality to satisfy their lust. The manner in which the crime was committed affects the social and moral fabric of the society. It is a case of exceptional depravity and barbaric character of the convicts who are threat to society and beyond reformation,” said the court adding that the after conduct of both the convicts show their real intention that they were not having any remorse for the crime committed by them,” said the court.