The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the death sentence imposed on a flower-seller convicted for the rape and murder of a 7 year Dalit Girl Child.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala also sought the response of the Tamil Nadu government in the matter.
The accused was convicted for the rape and murder of a 7-year-old Dalit child in 2020, killed after penetrative sexual assault.
The accused had, purportedly, developed friendship with the child before committing sexual assault on her. Acting on the fear that the child would tell someone about the offence, the accused had then dashed her head against a tree and threw the body into a dry pond.
The trial court had found the accused guilty and sentenced him to death by hanging.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had in January upheld the death penalty handed down by Sessions Judge, Pudukkottai, in the case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).
A bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and G Jayachandran stressed that if a person like the accused is allowed to survive in the world, he would “pollute the minds of co-prisoners on the verge of release.”
The High Court had held that the presumption in this case stood against the accused since Section 29 of the POCSO Act fastened a statutory presumption on the accused.