Assam sentenced to death rape
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Chennai: A Tamil Nadu man’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a case of kidnap and murder of a seven-year-old boy.

Sundar alias Sundarrajan was initially condemned to the gallows in 2013 by the apex court for the abduction and murder of the boy, who was the sole “male child” of his parents.

The parents had failed to pay a ransom of Rs 5 lakh demanded by the convict.

However, in 2018, the court granted the convict a review of his sentence, and on March 21, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud decided to commute his death penalty to life imprisonment.

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While the Chief Justice acknowledged the crime as “gruesome”, he noted that the courts had not considered the mitigating circumstances nor had held a separate sentence hearing before condemning Sundarrajan to death.

The Chief Justice said life sentence meant 14 years without parole or chances of remission, but that this was not proportionate.

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He ordered Sundarrajan to serve 20 years of his sentence without any reprieve.

In the 2013 judgment, Justice P Sathasivam and JS Khehar highlighted the “unfathomable grief” of the parents who had lost their only male child.

The court had noted that the convict had no value for human life and that the manner of murder and disposal of the body had shown a brutal mindset.

The conviction of Sundarrajan serves as a reminder of the gravity of such crimes and the need for society to be vigilant against such acts of violence.

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