Bombay HC favours death penalty in severe crimes against women

Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court has upheld life imprisonment to a youth for stabbing to death a boy who protested lewd remarks passed against his sister, observing serious crimes against women merited death penalty.

"The incidents of this type are on rise and must meet with severe sentence. Such persons must be dealt with iron-hand and ought to be given sentence of death," the Nagpur Bench of the court said while dismissing the criminal appeal filed by Buldhana-based accused Vitthal Chopade.

The Bench comprising Justices Pratap Hardas and Arun Choudhary recently upheld the Khamgaon (Buldhana district) sessions court order of awarding life imprisonment to the accused for stabbing and killing Nitin Joshi, who protested lewd remarks made by the accused.

According to prosecution, in 2004 when Nitin had come to pick up her sister from an examination centre at Kherda in Buldhana, Chopade passed some vulgar comments on the girl.

When Nitin protested, the accused stabbed him with a knife in his abdomen. He succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital.

During hearing, Chopade's counsel defended him saying that apart from the girl and her friend, none of the other 400-500 witnesses came up to depose against him.

But the court turned it down asserting that quality and not quantity of testimony matters.

"Since all the testimonies have been corroborated by medical examination and cross-examinations, the quality is indeed high," the court said.

"The appellant committed the offence with cruelty and with preparation by already having a big knife with him. He had no reason to have such a big knife in his waist. He wanted to terrorise the girl and the entire family towards his nefarious design," the court observed before upholding life sentence awarded to the accused.

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