HC favours death penalty in severe crimes against women

The Bombay High Court has upheld life imprisonment awarded to a youth for stabbing to death a boy who protested lewd remarks passed against his sister. The court observed that serious crimes against women merited death penalty, while dismissing the appeal filed by Vitthal Chopade, the accused.

"The incidents of this type are on the rise and must meet with severe sentence. Such persons must be dealt with iron hand and ought to be given sentence of death," said the Nagpur bench of the court comprising Justices Pratap Hardas and Arun Choudhary.

Chopade, a resident of Buldhana, had challenged the order of the Khamgaon (Buldhana district) sessions court that had awarded life imprisonment to him for killing Nitin Joshi in 2004.

According to the prosecution, 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 in the abdomen with a knife. He succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital.

During hearing, Chopade's counsel defended him saying apart from the girl and her friend, none of the other 400-500 witnesses deposed against him. But the court turned it down asserting quality and not quantity of testimony mattered.

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

"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 the life sentence awarded to the accused.

Delhi gangrape: Candlelight march in Nashik

Nashik: Nearly a hundred youths under the banner of 'Manav Uthan' held a candlelight march on Sunday to express solidarity with the Delhi gangrape victim. The procession started from the Martyr's Memorial and traversed through the main streets of the city, said the organisers.

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