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HC commutes death penalty

- Life for rape & murder of 3-yr-old

Cuttack, Sept. 4: Orissa High Court today commuted the death sentence awarded to a 26-year-old man into life imprisonment for rape and murder of a three-year-old girl at Budhiapalli of Sambalpur district.

Bisi Munda was awarded capital punishment on January 17 by the fast track court of ad hoc additional sessions judge, Sambalpur, for the rape and murder of a three-year-old in Budhiapalli, which falls in Thelkoloi police limits in Sambalpur district.

The division bench of Justice Pradip Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty has converted the term because it didn’t consider the case to fall under the “rarest of rare” category.

The trial court had convicted Bisi for raping the girl and throttling her to death in a jungle near Budhiapalli on October 4 last year. He had filed an appeal challenging the death penalty.

“According to the modified sentence pronounced by the division bench, the high court has awarded life imprisonment for the rape and murder of the child. Details of the order will be known after we receive a copy of the judgment,” the petitioner’s counsel B.K. Ragada said.

The trial court, while awarding capital punishment to Bisi Munda, had observed that the case fell under the category “rarest of rare” and deserved the extreme penalty of death sentence.

“The nature of the crime, the systematic manner in which the victim was abducted, raped and murdered clearly demonstrates the depravity of the mind of the convict. The convict seems to have acted in a beastly manner by committing rape upon an innocent child aged about only three years and after fulfilling his lust put an end to her life with an ulterior motive. The pre-planned, cold blooded and diabolic murder of an innocent girl age after committing rape upon her is undoubtedly coming under the purview of the rarest of rare case,” ad hoc additional sessions judge Ashok Kumar Panda had observed.