Amrit Singh vs State of Punjab
Author : Ishita Arora
Citation: (2007) 1 SCC (Cri) 41
Bench: Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice Dalveer Bhandari.
In the present case of Amrit Singh vs State of Punjab, an appeal was filed by the appellant against the judgment of conviction and sentence of death by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana for brutally raping and killing a minor girl.
In this case, the death of the deceased occurred not as a result of strangulation but because of excessive bleeding. The Supreme Court held that awarding death penalty in a case where the accused has no intention of killing the girl was improper.
Facts of the case
On 3.11.2003 in the evening, the deceased Raj Preet Kaur, who is a student of 2nd Standard, went to the house of her friend Amarpreet Kaur. At about 5.00 p.m., the deceased allegedly left the house of Gurbax Singh for her own house. She was accompanied to some extent by Amanpreet. When she crossed pakka water house, Amarpreet left her on her own.
When the deceased did not reach her house, search was carried on. Some persons then found her dead body in the agricultural field belonging to Appellant situated in front of his house. In her hand some strands of human hair were also there.
The father of the deceased on seeing the dead body called his brother Baldev Singh and leaving him at the spot, started for the police station to inform the police and to lodge a report.
According to the post mortem examination, there were multiple marks of contusions and abrasions on the anterior side of neck with a large contusion over the fold of neck transverse in direction.
There were also abrasions on her face, elbow and impression of teeth on her lips. All these injuries were ante-mortem in nature. Her body and pent were also found to be smeared with excessive bleeding.
No doubt, external injuries were found on the neck which were said to be the cause of death of the deceased, according to the doctor, the death took place because of excessive bleeding from the private parts of the deceased.
Issues and facts of law
1. Whether appellant was guilty of commission of the offence of rape and murder of the deceased?
2. Whether imposition of death penalty in a case of this nature is justified?
The court is satisfied that the death occurred as a consequence of and not because of any specific overt act on the part of Appellant. Hence, imposition of death penalty in a case of this nature was improper. Also, this case cannot be said to be a rarest of rare cases.
The manner in which the deceased was raped may be brutal but it could have been a momentary lapse on the part of Appellant, seeing a lonely girl at a secluded place.
He had no pre-meditation for commission of the offence. The offence may look a heinous, but under no circumstances, it can be said to be a rarest of rare cases. It is clear that he didn’t kill her intentionally.
Hence, in this case maximum sentence which should be imposed is of Rigorous Imprisonment for life. The appeal was allowed to the above extent.