President Droupadi Murmu has dismissed the mercy petition of a man convicted for raping and killing a four-year-old girl in Maharashtra in 2008. According to Rashtrapati Bhavan, this was the first mercy petition rejected by Murmu after she assumed office as the 15th President of India on July 25, 2022.
Earlier in May 2017, the Supreme Court had dismissed the review petition of Vasanta Sampat Dupare (then 55 years old) and sent him to the gallows. On March 28 this year, the President’s secretariat received a recommendation from Union Home Ministry in Dupare’s case.
“The mercy petition was rejected by the President on April 10,” said a statement on the status of the mercy petition, updated by the President’s secretariat. In 2017, the Supreme Court had held that “the aggravating circumstances and the barbaric manner in which the four-year-old was killed, clearly outweigh the mitigating circumstances”.
What did Supreme Court say?
While upholding the death penalty awarded to the convict, the top court had said the rape of a minor girl was “a monstrous burial of her dignity in darkness.” The court had referred to the sequence of events in the case and said that the convict, who was a neighbour, lured the girl, raped her and then battered her to death using two heavy stones.
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Top court upheld Bombay HC verdict in 2014
The top court, on November 26, 2014, upheld the trial court’s as well as the Bombay High Court’s decision of awarding death sentence to Maharashtra resident Dupare in the 2008 rape and murder case.
It had on July 14, 2016, agreed to examine the plea of Dupare, who had claimed that he was not accorded a fair chance to put forth his arguments in the trial court which sentenced him to death.
(With PTI inputs)