The Supreme Court said Friday that lapse or omission of DNA profiling cannot be allowed to decide the fate of the trial for the crime of rape, especially when combined with murder, because the cause of the criminal law would be the victim. in case of acquittal only because of such a failure in the investigation.
The Supreme Court, while commuting the death sentence awarded to a man for raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl, was sentenced to life in prison, stipulating that he is not entitled to parole or parole before actually serving a prison sentence undergone for a period of 30 years.
A three-judge court headed by Judge AM Khanwilkar ruled on an appeal filed by the convict who had challenged the verdict of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which upheld the death penalty awarded to him by a court in the case.
The bench, which also consists of Judges Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar, noted that the lawyer who appeared before the convict claimed that no DNA test had been performed to link the appellant to the samples found on the body of the accused. the deceased had been found, thus violating Section 53A of the CrPC.
Article 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) regulates the examination of the person accused of rape by a doctor.
“Given the nature of the provision under Article 53A of the CrPC and the aforementioned decrees…. we also believe that failure or omission (intentional or otherwise) to perform DNA profiling cannot in itself decide the fate of a trial for the crime of rape, especially when combined with the commission of of the crime of murder, since in the event of acquittal only on the basis of such error or lack of investigation, the criminal case would fall victim,” the court said in its 84-page verdict.
It noted that even if such a flaw had arisen in the investigation of a particular case, the court still has a duty to consider whether the available material and evidence is sufficient and convincing to prove the case of the prosecution.
“In a case based on circumstantial evidence, the court must verify whether, despite such omission, the various links in the chain of circumstances constitute a complete chain indicating the guilt of the accused alone, excluding any hypothesis of innocence. in his favor,” it sounded.
The highest court said there can be no doubt about the view that a fair investigation is necessary for a fair trial.
The court said it is the duty of the investigating body to protect the rights of both the accused and the victim by adhering to the prescribed procedures in the investigation and also to ensure a fair, competent and effective investigation.
“Even if we keep it that way, we should not be aware of the virtually established position that a suspect has no right to be acquitted simply because of flaws or shortcomings in the investigation,” it said.
“In other words, it also cannot be the sole ground for interfering with a conviction if the rest of the evidence is compelling enough to support the same,” the bank said.
It noted that the appellant was the cousin and brother of the victim’s mother and that the incident took place in September 2014 in Gwalior district.
The court noted in its judgment that the “devilish and horrific manner” in which the applicant had raped the girl was apparent from the serious injuries.
The court noted that the court had considered the criminal issue and upheld it on the same day as the appellant’s conviction.
“We will not be deemed to have held that this is absolutely illegal and inadmissible. What is ultimately necessary is to take into account the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the application of the mind. They were not given proper consideration when considering the issue of awarding the sentence for a Section 302 IPC (murder) conviction in the present case,” it noted.
The court said it is “true that all murders are inhumane” and that for the death penalty to be imposed, the crime must be unusual in nature, while, even after taking into account the extenuating circumstances, the court must find that the life sentence is insufficient and there is no choice but to impose the death penalty.
It said the appellant, who was 25 years old at the time of committing the offence, had no criminal history, comes from a poor socio-economic background and behaves impeccably in prison.
“Therefore, considering the matter taking into account the above aspects, we do not find any reason to exclude the possibility and probability of the reform and rehabilitation of the appellant,” it said.