Maggots were crawling all over her body when it was found four days later that October. The crime is abhorrent, said the HC and also directed the state to pay to the father, compensation of Rs 10 lakh under a victim compensation scheme, within 30 days.
The HC said the “crime smacks of degradation of a girl child, depravity and perversity’’ and its “barbaric and inhuman manner’’ made it the rarest of rare case, fit for sending him to the gallows. It is a crime that would send a “chill down the spine” of every parent of a small girl child, before they send “innocent, undefended’’ children out to see the rainbow.
“It is the safety of a girl child which is of paramount importance to a society,’’ said a bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Prithviraj Chavan who confirmed the death sentence.
The bench said, “This is yet another sad saga of a three year old girl child, who was playing with her little dog, when she was noticed by a knave man who was driven by a desire of lust upon the sight of a little happy harmless child playing in her own world.’’
The HC confirmed the death sentence awarded in 2019 by the Mumbai special trial Judge under Protection of children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The man, Ramkirat Goud, from Uttar Pradesh who came to the city looking for employment, is now 32 years old.
His lawyer Sachin Pawar in his appeal, argued that he was arrested on October 3, 2013 and the entire case rests on circumstantial evidence and the conviction be set aside. But additional public prosecutor Mankuwar Deshmukh pointed to the stack of evidence that led to only one conclusion—of Goud’s guilt. She said the crime of the “brutally ravished’’ child caused a huge public outcry and the case falls under the ‘rarest of rare category’ and if any leniency is shown he would be a “menace to society.’’
The compensation under a NALSA scheme for rape victims was not paid as the mother of the child had abandoned her two years before her murder and had not even shown up to inquire about her death, the HC noted, after hearing advocate Rebecca Gonsalvez appointed to espouse the father’s cause.
“The fact that identifiable maggots were seen crawling over the body, would show that the incident of rape and death of the victim was 3 days old’’ said the HC when the state sought confirmation of the death sentence. A death sentence in a murder case has to before it can be executed first confirmed or upheld by the HC. The bench said he timing matched with unexplained injuries on the accused.
The HC said, “It is unimaginable that a cheerful, frolicking child enjoying with her pet would provoke the feelings of lust in a man who is a father of two daughters and a son.’’ The judgment authored by Justice Jadhav added, “The perversity in the mind of the accused is apparent and therefore, we are of the opinion that the aggravating circumstances in the present case outweigh the mitigating circumstances placed before the court in the course of hearing of the appeal.’’
The HC said it spoke to the accused personally, “he has not shown any remorse.’’
“The only mitigating circumstance put forth by him is economic stringency of his family.’’
The HC said, “looking at the monstrous act of the convict, it is apparent that the appellant had not, for a moment thought of the precious life of the minor child.’’
Justice Jadhav, expressed poignantly what the court felt in a quote she mentioned at the start of the judgment. She wrote, “A bud of rose was crushed before it bloomed, a kite was torn when about to fly, the budding flower was crushed to ashes and the kite took the soul away.”
Disclaimer: (The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)disclaimer: (The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)