By – Kirtika Chakraborty
In the Supreme Court of India
|NAME OF THE CASE||Jawed Khan @ Tingrya vs The State Of Maharashtra|
|CITATION||Criminal appeal 622-623 of 2016|
|DATE OF THE CASE||6 February 2019|
|APPELLANT||Jawed Khan @Tringya|
|RESPONDENT||The State Of Maharashtra|
|BENCH/JUDGE||A.K Sikri, S.Abdul Nazeer,M.R Shah|
|STATUTES/CONSTITUTION INVOLVED||The Indian Penal Code.|
|IMPORTANT ARTICLES/SECTIONS||Section 302, Section 397, Section 201 of The Indian Penal Code.|
The current case discloses a heinous scenario in which the Accused is accused of committing a horrific sexual assault on a helpless young girl, followed by a ruthless murder by diabolical conduct. The most heinous aspect of the case is that an innocent college student of 21 years old was taken advantage of by the Accused’s unbridled lust. The storey sends shockwaves through everyone who has a diminished sense of their human worth and dignity.
The cops came across the accused, Javed Khan Habib Khan alias Tingrya, a resident of Dukhinagar in Jalna, when the man to whom he gave the girl’s phone was tracked with the help of a mobile service provider.
Javed was apprehended by a police sub-inspector (P.S.I.) Nita Misal in the Nirala Bazaar area about 3.30 a.m. on Monday. Pradeep Bhaskar Chandalia, a resident of Pundliknagar, and Ram Sheshrao Bodkhe, a resident of Raje Sambhaji Colony in Jadhavwadi, have been apprehended for sheltering Javed, assisting him in disposing of stolen items and performing the crime. Mansi Shankar Deshpande, a college student, resided in a rented flat in Purva Apartments in Ahinsanagar with her engineer brother Aniket and was discovered by her brother when he finally returned after the night shift.
The appellant, Jawed Khan @ Tingrya, registered appeals after being tried and convicted for offences under Sections 302, 376, 456, 457, 458, 392 read with Sections 397 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code (“I.P.C.”). Along with the appellant (who was charged as Defendant No. 1), two other people were put on trial. The charge levelled against the two individuals was that they had received stolen property. The trial court also convicted the two accused persons, Pradip Chandaliya (A-2) and Ram Bodkhe (A-3), and imposed a monetary penalty, which has reached finality as there is no further challenge by A-2 and A-3. In the case of the appellant, after convicting him of the offences above, the Signature Not Verified trial court sentenced him to life in prison. DEEPAK SINGH has digitally signed this document. Date and time: 2019.02.19 16:30:51 I.S.T. Reason: in the case of a conviction under Section 302 of the I.P.C. Other offences received different punishments, and all sentences were to run concurrently. As a result, the maximum penalty for a conviction under Section 302 of the I.P.C. is life imprisonment.
Aniket noticed that the house was shut from the inside. He knocked on the door and called his sister, but he received no response. After a few minutes, Aniket suspected something was wrong and went down the stairs to the owner’s house, Bankar Patil. Aniket remained on the first floor. He informed the house owner that he wanted to climb from the grill of their Varandha to his house. Then he climbed the grill and went to his flat’s gallery. He noticed that the door to the balcony-attached room had been opened. He went into Mansi’s drawing room and then into his bedroom. iv. Aniket was taken aback when he saw Mansi lying on the bed in pain. Her hands were bound with a wire from a mobile phone’s headphone, and her legs were bound with an oversized scarf from Mansi. Aniket discovered a bedsheet wrapped around her face. He removed the bedsheet and found that she was undressed. He noticed that her neck had been injured and that she was bleeding profusely. A screwdriver and a scissor were on the ground. Many items were discovered scattered throughout the house. Aniket was terrified and ran to his next-door neighbour, Mrs Soni. Aniket was accompanied by Mrs Soni. She summoned her neighbours. Aniket sought assistance from his friends Vivek Agrawal and Vishal. He asked Mr Khadke, who was delivering tiffin to him and lived in the next apartment, to bring the doctor right away. Mr Khadke then arrived with the doctor. Meanwhile, the police were notified. Police were also dispatched to the residence. The doctor examined her and determined that she died 34 hours earlier.
Aniket filed a report with the police station. Police Station registered Crime No.65 of 2009 under Sections 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code. The police took the dead body into custody. It was brought to Ghati Hospital for a postmortem examination. P.S.I. Akmal drew an inquest Panchanama in the presence of Panch witnesses before referring the dead body for postmortem. Under a separate Panchanama, P.S.I. Akmal seized a black mobile phone, a scarf, a T-shirt, and a blood-stained brazier. P.S.I. Akmal handed over the inquest panchanama and confiscated articles to PW-32 Investigating Officer Sopan Borse.
The appellant filed an appeal against the previous conviction in the High Court of Judicature in Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad. The State was also dissatisfied with the appellant’s life sentence and preferred an appeal to increase the punishment. The High Court denied the appellant’s request in the challenged judgement dated 08.03.2016, consequently upholding the conviction. At the same time, the State’s preferred appeal was accepted and authorized. The death penalty has taken the place of life imprisonment.
The appellant’s appeals include a challenge to the conviction and the application of the death punishment. Accordingly, as the appellant’s conviction is concerned, we have heard learned counsel for the appellant at length. It should be noted that this is an instance of circumstantial evidence because there were no eyewitnesses to the purported crime committed by the appellant.
ARGUMENTS FROM THE APPELLANT SIDE
“The appellant challenged the conviction above by filing an appeal in the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad. The State also felt aggrieved by the life imprisonment given to the appellant and preferred an appeal for enhancing the sentence. By the impugned judgment dated 08.03.2016, the High Court has dismissed the appellant’s request, thereby maintaining the conviction. At the same time, the appeal preferred by the State has been accepted and allowed. The imprisonment of life is substituted with the death penalty.
In these appeals preferred by the appellant, there is a challenge to the conviction and imposition of the death penalty. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant at length insofar as the appellant’s conviction is concerned.
Learned counsel for Accused Jawedkhan @ Tingarya s/o Habibkhan is heard on the point of quantum of sentence. Learned counsel submits that Accused Jawedkhan is a 25-year-old young boy. Considering his age, it is presented on behalf of Appellant Jawedkhan that it is not a rarest of rare case, and Trial Court was correct in not awarding capital punishment to the Accused.
Mr Trideep Pais, learned counsel for the appellant, strived to argue that all these recoveries cannot be believed, and he sought to point out certain loopholes therein. It is not necessary to go into all these aspects. We find that, apart from the recoveries mentioned above, the samples of blood and semen of the appellant were taken and sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Mumbai. Samples of blood and semen were recovered from the place of the incident. The D.N.A. report conclusively concluded that these samples matched 100%; namely, the blood and the semen collected from the incident’s location is that of the appellant. Though Mr Pais tried to argue that this D.N.A. report should not be acted upon as there are various infirmities/ irregularities therein, we are not convinced with the said argument. The D.N.A. report, which is scientific information, nail the appellant and clinchingly proves the charge against the appellant beyond a reasonable doubt. We also find that the learned Sessions Judge, as well as the High Court, have examined these aspects in detail and in the light of the said evidence as well as the depositions of various witnesses have arrived at the finding as mentioned earlier of fact which is without blemish. Therefore, insofar as the conviction of the appellant under the provisions as mentioned earlier of the I.P.C. is concerned, we uphold the same.”
ARGUMENTS FROM THE RESPONDENT
” In the present case to prove homicidal death, Prosecution has placed firm reliance on medical and circumstantial evidence.
So far as the factum of homicidal death is concerned, evidence of PW-25 Dr Anand Bassaiya Mugadalimath and PW-30 Dr Sachin Gade is essential. On 12 June 2009, Dr Mugadalimath was attached to Forensic Science Department Government Medical College and Hospital, Aurangabad. The dead body of Mansi Deshpande was brought to the hospital by Jinsi Police. Dr Mugadalimath stated that a history of the alleged assault was given by police in the inquest panchanama. The dead body was identified by Aniket Deshpande, brother of Mansi.”
“After receiving D.N.A. report and C.A. reports, doctors had opined the final cause of death of Mansi as multiple penetrating wounds over the neck with transection of carotid vessels associated with signs of strangulation and smothering with and forceful sexual intercourse. The final cause of death certificate signed by all the three doctors is proved by Dr Mugadalimath at Exhibit 112. Dr Mugadalimath had stated that injury on the victim’s neck could be possible by hands, nails and blunt-tipped weapon. The smothering could be possible by shutting the mouth and nostrils by palm.
In response to the submissions made on behalf of Appellant Jawedkhan, learned APP Mr Sonpawale strenuously submitted that considering the nature of the offence, manner in which it was committed and its impact on the society at large, it is a rarest of rare case in which capital punishment needs to be awarded. Life imprisonment would be an inadequate sentence. On the point of death sentence learned, APP relied upon the following authorities:
a) Bachan Singh V/s. State of Punjab (1980) 2 Supreme Court Cases 684)
b) Macchi Singh and Others V/s. State of Punjab (1983) 3 Supreme Court Cases 470)
c) State of Rajasthan Vs. Kheraj Ram (2003) 8 Supreme Court Cases 224)
d) State of Maharashtra Vs. Shatrughna Baban Meshram (2015 (4) Bom. C.R. (Cri.) 744).”
- “Section 302 in The Indian Penal Code
302. Punishment for murder.—Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or 1[imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.”
- Section 397 in The Indian Penal Code
“397. Robbery, or dacoity, with the attempt to cause death or grievous hurt.—If, at the time of committing robbery or dacoity, the offender uses any deadly weapon, or causes grievous hurt to any person, or attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person, the imprisonment with which such offender shall be punished shall not be less than seven years.”
- Section 201 in The Indian Penal Code
“201. Causing disappearance of evidence of the offence, or giving false information to screen offender.—Whoever, knowing or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear, with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any information respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false; if a capital offence.—shall, if the offence which he knows or believes to have been committed is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with imprisonment for life.—and if the offence is punishable with 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with less than ten years’ imprisonment.—and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for any term not extending to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of the imprisonment provided for the offence, or with fine, or with both. Illustration A, knowing that B has murdered Z, assists B to hide the body with the intention of screening B from punishment. A is liable to imprisonment of either description for seven years, and also to fine.”
The Supreme Court of India declared in its decision that:
.” Coming to the sentence, we find that the trial court had given detailed and cogent reasons while awarding life imprisonment to the appellant and came to the conclusion that it was not rarest of the rare case which deserved the death penalty. On the other hand, the High Court has been swayed by the so-called previous criminal record of the appellant. It is mentioned that the appellant was involved in five offences relating to housebreaking and two offences of theft. In the first instance, it may be pointed out that the appellant had been convicted in none of these cases. Furthermore, the chances are trivial, which could not be treated as circumstances of aggravating nature. That apart and more importantly, we find that the conduct of the appellant in jail, in last few years. There is material on record to show that the appellant is on the path of reformation, and he may have already been a reformed person. We are making these observations regarding the fact that while in jail, the appellant has participated in the Examination on Gandhian Thoughts organized by the Sahyog Trust, Sarvodaya Ashram Nagpur & Mumbai Sarvoday Mandal based on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He has been awarded a certificate of participation. The appellant has also qualified B.P.P. (Bachelor Preparatory Programme) from Indira Gandhi National Open University (“IGNOU”), which allows him to get admission in B.A. On that basis, he has even secured access to a B.A. course in IGNOU and is pursuing the same. The Jail report shows that his jail conduct is satisfactory.
For these reasons, we believe that the High Court is not correct in enhancing the sentence from life imprisonment to capital punishment. Accordingly, these appeals are partly allowed by restoring the penalty as awarded by the trial court and setting aside that part of the Order of the High Court.
Before parting, we may place on record our appreciation for the efforts put in by Mr Trideep Pais, learned counsel who appeared for the appellant, as well as the able assistance rendered by his juniors. In this legal aid matter, the case was argued with passion and preparedness with minutest details.”
Crime against women is not a new issue in India. If written records of social organization and family life are available, women in Indian society have been victims of ill-treatment, humiliation, torture, and exploitation. According to the records, women are abducted, raped, murdered, and tortured regularly. Nonetheless, female victims of violence have received little attention in the literature on social problems or criminal violence, which is unfortunate. There has also been no attempt to explain why the public and academics alike have ignored the fact that women have been ruthlessly exploited in our society for so long.
It is, perhaps, the most severe punishment that can be inflicted on the victims and their families in terms of the sufferings that it causes them. The victim woman is haunted for the rest of her life by a single horror perpetrated against her, which causes her embarrassment at almost every turn, be it among friends, in marriage, if at all possible, or for the rest of her life in any shape. She is now an outcast. It marks a significant shift in her life, and it’s no surprise that most of the victims of this crime commit suicide. The most heinous aspect of this crime is that the victim is made to suffer for what she is forced to do without being held responsible in any way. It is not only a physical assault on the victim’s body but also an insult to her mental, psychological, and emotional sensibilities. It is the quake-like destruction of her sense of pride, security, and purity, as well as a quake-like shock to her future hopes and aspirations in life.