A trial court here on Thursday sentenced to death a 30-year-old man, Rajesh, who was found guilty of raping and throttling to death a 15-year-old girl when she was alone at her house at Vembayam on March 6, 2011.

The prosecution case was that Rajesh, an autorickshaw driver, with whom the girl had no previous acquaintance, had entered the house on the pretext of seeking her aid to repair his vehicle and raped and killed her. He stole her gold ornaments and pawned it the same day at a local bank.

Principal Sessions Judge B. Sudheendra Kumar said in his judgment that the girl lost her life on account of the ‘bestial acts’ of the accused.

Rajesh’s actions reflected ‘lack of remorse’ and a ‘depraved’ state of mind. He had committed the offence against a ‘defenceless and helpless girl without any provocation.’ His actions caused ‘intense and extreme indignation’ and shocked society’s collective conscience.

Asked whether he had any reason to cite why he should not be given capital punishment, Rajesh told the judge that he was the sole breadwinner of his family. His counsel argued that his offence did not fall under the ‘rarest of rare’ category of crimes. The public prosecutor, Asok Kumar, argued for capital punishment on the ground that the crime was of a ‘cruel and diabolic’ nature.

Death by hanging

The judge stated that the accused would be a ‘continuing menace and threat to society and its harmonious existence.’ He was unable to find any ‘mitigating circumstances’ not to award the accused the death penalty. The court could not ‘wriggle out of the infliction of extreme penalty to the accused’ as society needs to be protected by ‘permanently removing’ from its midst criminals whose ‘culpability has assumed proportions of extreme depravity.’

He sentenced that Rajesh be ‘hanged by the neck till he is dead.’ He also sentenced him to life imprisonment for rape and 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for trespass and robbery.

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