New Delhi, Sept. 10: The Supreme Court today commuted to life sentence the death penalty on Sunil Damodar Gaikwad, who stabbed to death his wife and two sons when they were sleeping and tried to kill his daughter, driven by poverty.
Gaikwad, a tailor, had inflicted multiple stab wounds on his wife, two minor sons and a daughter on July 8, 2008, in Maharashtra. The daughter, Gaitri alias Pooja, also a minor, woke up during the attack and asked her father why he was stabbing her.
According to the prosecution, Gaikwad replied that he was eliminating the family because of poverty and that he too would commit suicide. One of the boys suffered from asthma and the treatment was too expensive for the tailor who already could not make ends meet. He tried to smother her with a pillow but when Gaitri still survived, the father left a bottle of drinking water near her and went to the police station to surrender.
A sessions court awarded him death penalty and the Bombay High Court upheld the penalty, following which he appealed in the apex court.
The apex court said: “Socio-economic compulsions such as poverty are also factors that are to be considered by courts while awarding a sentence.”