In a first of its kind sentence in the State since Independence, a district court in Manipur on Tuesday awarded death penalty to a 21-year-old man in a 2015 rape and murder case of a four-year-old girl.
A report appearing in the The Indian Express stated that Special judge, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), A Notuneshwari Devi, announced the verdict a day after R David was convicted under Section 6 of POCSO Act and Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). As police report goes, the four-year-old minor girl was raped and murdered at a stable in the vicinity of Maram Kavanam Village in December 2015. The convict was arrested two days later after the Mao Police Station registered a suo motu case.
As per the police report, the villagers were very much in know about the crime but the “heinous act” was “hushed up by greasing the palms of the victim’s parents”. Following the registration of the case, the body of the deceased girl was exhumed and a post-mortem was conducted in the presence of a magistrate. The reports concluded sexual assault and death from strangulation.
The report further stated that after examining 21 witnesses during the course of the hearing, charges were framed on July 5, 2018, against David. Terming the case, “rarest of the rare”, the judge said, “There is no mitigating factor to deter in other alternative punishment. In my considered view, maximum punishment should be awarded and it should be an eye-opener for the society at large in order to prevent such brutal and heinous crime in our society. This court has delivered justice to the victim as well as to the society through earnest efforts made by the investigation agency, especially the then 2nd OC of Mao Police Station.”
The court also recommended that the mother of the victim be awarded Rs 25 lakh as compensation as per the National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA).