Victim's family upset over death penalty commuted to life term

Supreme court

Strongly reacting to the recent Supreme Court judgement which commuted death penalty of the convict, who had brutally raped a 23-year-old pregnant woman and killed her grand mother-in-law here in 2007, the victim's family today said the perpetrator of the crime had " no right to live".

The apex court has commuted the death sentence of the convict Sandesh Abhang, who gruesomely killed the 65-year-old woman by chopping off her fingers and later stabbing her repeatedly. He later raped her pregnant grand daughter-in-law.

Speaking on behalf of the family, advocate D Y Jadhav, who had fought the case as public prosecutor in Pune sessions court which had awarded death penalty to the accused Ė later upheld in High court--, told reporters here, "This was one of the rarest of the rare cases. My client was very keen on death penalty to the perpetrator of the heinous crime and is disappointed".

Jadhav, who has since retired as public prosecutor, said as a lawyer he respected the court's verdict but added that it was "unfortunate" that the convict was spared of the gallows even after committing such a brutal and inhuman act.

Like every rape victim, the woman died a "mental death" when she was assaulted, he said.

The victim, who was five-months pregnant at the time of the crime, later gave birth to a child.

She too was assaulted with the knife by the accused but took the cuts on her back to save the foetus.

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