Katihar, Feb. 2: A local court today sentenced to death a 35-year-old man for the rape and murder of a child on January 24, the swift judgment capping a trial that lasted just four working days.
District and sessions judge Bateshwar Nath Pandey awarded the death penalty to Sanjay Rishi, observing that the “heinous” crime fell in the category of the “rarest of rare” cases.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Rishi, a resident of Chhoti Bhaisbida village under Barari police station, about 350km northeast of Patna. The girl is a niece of the accused.
The trial began on January 28, three days after the FIR was lodged and the chargesheet was filed.
The court heard 15 prosecution witnesses over four working days and what is among the swiftest trials in the state, pronounced its verdict today.
Rishi, a married daily wage labourer, is at present lodged in Katihar district jail.
On January 24, Rishi had lured the three-and-a-half-year-old girl to his lap with a biscuit. He then took her to a field where he raped and strangled her to death.
The child’s father Tetra Rishi, also a resident of Chhoti Bhaisbida village and a cousin of the convict, registered a case of rape and murder against Sanjay under sections 302 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code at Barari police station.
Sanjay Rishi was pulled in for questioning after 15 locals said they had seen him taking the child away from her home in his lap. During interrogation, he confessed to the crime, police said.
Hearing a case of rape and murder of the baby girl under speedy trial, the district and sessions judge observed that the case belonged to the ‘rarest of rare’ category and described it as ‘the most heinous crime’.
He awarded capital punishment and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the accused Sanjay Rishi today. Since the case was lodged under sections 376 and 302 of the IPC, the court awarded life imprisonment under Section 376 and death sentence under Section 302,” assistant public prosecutor Gopal Prasad Keshari and advocate Manoj Kumar Goenka told The Telegraph.
“The court heard the case only in four days and pronounced its judgment,” Goenka added.
On January 23, the court of ad hoc additional sessions judge (IV), Sunil Kumar Singh, in Darbhanga had awarded the death penalty to one Indra Kumar Sharma alias Indal Thakur for raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl.
Mohammad Mannan alias Abdul Mannan, a convict lodged in Bhagalpur special jail, had raped and murdered a seven-year-old girl of Alinagar area of Darbhanga district in February 2004.
The Darbhanga district court awarded the death penalty to Mannan in 2007 which was upheld by Patna High Court in 2008 and confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2011. But the execution of the court’s verdict is pending.