It is trite that a death sentence is often inflicted only during a case which comes within the category of rarest of rare cases but there's no hard-and-fast rule and parameter to make a decision this vexed issue.
The Court had the occasion to think about the cases which may be termed because the rarest of rare cases and although certain comprehensive guidelines are laid to adjudge this issue but no hard-and-fast formula of universal application has been laid down during this regard.
Crimes are committed in so different and distinct circumstances that it's impossible to get down comprehensive guidelines to make a decision this issue. Nevertheless, it's widely accepted that choose this question the number of persons killed isn't decisive.
Further, crime being brutal and heinous itself does not turn the size towards the death sentence. When the crime is committed during an extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, or revolting manner so on arouse intense and extreme indignation of the community and when collective conscience of the community is petrified, one has got to lean towards death sentence.
But this is often not the top. If these factors are present, the court has got to see on whether the accused may be a menace to the society and would still be so, threatening its peaceful and harmonious coexistence. The court has got to further enquire and believe that the accused condemned ca not be reformed or rehabilitated and shall continue with the criminal acts.
During this way, a record is to be prepared while considering the imposition of penalty of death of aggravating and mitigating circumstances and a just balance is to be struck. goodbye, the death sentence is provided within the statute and when collective conscience of the community is petrified, it's expected that the holders of judicial power don't unnecessarily introduce their personal opinion and inflict execution.
These are the broad guidelines which the Honourable Supreme Court has laid down over the years for the imposition of the execution.
Shubhada Jaydeep Patil and Jaydeep Patil were married on 07.02.2007 and Mr.Jaydeep was employed with a personal bank at its branch in Bibwewadi area of Pune city. On 31.08.2007, the couple shifted to flat no. 301 of Purple Castle Society, Chintamaninagar, Bibwewadi, Pune as a tenant and slightly below their flat, the maternal aunt of Shubhada Jaydeep Patil, Sumitra Ramesh Birajdar was staying together with her family in flat no. 202.
On 10.09.2007, Mr.Jaydeep came home for lunch and left the house at 1:30 p.m. His grandmother ShaliniJadhav was also staying with them. Around 02:00 p.m., when the grandmother was watching TV, she heard the doorbell and thus, opened the door of the flat. The accused told her that Saheb had sent him for repairing of car puncture.
The grandmother being unaware of this assignment, she called Shubhada Patil to speak to the accused. When Shubhada came, the accused repeated an equivalent assignment. She informed that she had no such knowledge and he could are available the evening by which era her husband would be a reception.
As a matter of precaution, she also called her husband on cellphone but he didn't respond. By this point the accused entered into the flat bolted the door from inside and took out a deadly weapon(Kukri) and threatened the women. Naturally, there was some resistance and on this, the accused started giving blows, which resulted in a sizable amount of bleeding injuries on the person of both the women.
He demanded ornaments on the person of the grandmother. He snatched “Mangalsutra” from Shubhada and also a gold chain but didn't stop the assaults.
Shubhada Patil was in her fifth month of pregnancy and thus, tried her best to ascertain that she wouldn't receive any assault on her stomach. The accused further demanded to look out jewellery and take advantage of the house, which was his main object. Mrs.Shubhada then threw before him a handbag containing gold ornaments.
He collected them but at this stage when the grandmother made a little movement, he gave a fatal blow on her neck. When he demanded additional cash and jewellery, Mrs.Shubhada offered him to look the whole house and deduct what he wanted. Upon this, the accused became more aggressive and asked her to get rid of her clothes and committed rape on her under the threat of further assault.
Even thereafter, he kept inflicting blows on her. He then visited the toilet, cleaned himself and fled from the flat and bolted the door from outside.
After having realised that the grandmother wasn't alive, Shubhada Patil managed to crawl up to the second bedroom so on give a call to the maternal aunt within the flat below. Consequently, when the maternal aunt came to the main door of the flat, she crawled up to the main door and opened it after which her husband arrived, the police were alerted, and she was taken to Bharati Vidyapeeth Hospital.
Law involved during this case:
It was held that the case didn't fall within the category of rarest of rare cases. The appellant’s appeal was partially allowed by the Hon’ble Court and therefore the death sentence was commuted thereto of rigorous imprisonment for all times.
It is neither possible nor permissible to define or lay down any straitjacket formula which can universally be applied to all cases requiring the court’s determination in relation to the imposition of the death penalty. The Court has in itself, thus taken very divergent views on the point. It is to be determined on the basis of the facts and circumstances which are case-specific.
The case under study should have been adjudged to have fallen under the category of rarest of rare cases. The Supreme Court was faulty in its judgement. The logic used by the Court to come to the conclusion that the accused was not in a “balanced state of mind” and that there had been “absence of normal behaviour” goes beyond comprehension.
What is even more egregious is the so-called “vital factor”, which provides the main rationale of the Court to declare this not to be the rarest of rare case, and which in the view of the Court was totally disregarded by the High Court and the trial court, was that the accused was smelling of alcohol and his eyes were red, which was testified by the victim herself (PW 2).
It has some negative implications. This would dissuade the victims in any such cases in future to provide the correct and full account of the circumstances prevailing during the commission of the crime due to the fear of testifying something which could go against them.
Indeed the judgement has set a bad precedent. The later developments on the point clearly state the law on the point that the evidence of drunkenness which renders the accused incapable of forming the specific intent essential to constitute the crime should be taken into account with the other facts proved in order to determine whether or not he had the intention.
Court held that merely establishing that his mind was affected by drink so that he more readily gave way to some violent passion, does not rebut the presumption that a man intends the natural consequences of his acts.