HIS POEMS SAVED HIM FROM DEATH SENTENCE

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At the age of 22, Dnyaneshwar committed a crime of kidnapping and subsequently murdering the minor. He was convicted and awarded with Capital Punishment. He was convicted under Section 302,364 and 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code for kidnapping and murdering a minor child Rishikesh.

Under the watchful eye of the Apex Court, Senior Advocate Anand Grover brought to the notice of the bench that the poems written by the accused in the jail reflects his current state of mind, he has realised the mistake he committed years ago when he was just 22 years old. He have spent 18 years in jail and in that span he have learned a lesson and that reflects in his poetry. He is now trying to be a civilised person and he has completed his graduation in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and has also undergone training of Gandhian thoughts undertaken by Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon.

The bench considers the mitigating circumstances in favour of convict and decides to commute his punishment. The court observed,

"The accused at the time of commission of the offence was aged of 22 years; that, by now, he has spent 18 years in the jail; that, while in jail, his conduct is good; that, the accused has tried to join the society and has tried to become a civilized man and has completed his graduation in B.A. from jail. He has tried to become reformative; that, from the poems, written by him in the jail, it appears that he has realised his mistake which was committed by him at the time when he was of young age and that he is reformative; therefore the appellant can be reformed and rehabilitated."

"It is required to be noted that the accused was not a previous convict or a professional killer. At the time of commission of offence, he was 22 years of age. His jail conduct is also reported to be good." the bench added.

The bench decided to commute Death Sentence to Life Imprisonment and observed that:

"We have considered each of the circumstance and the crime as well as the facts leading to the commission of the crime by the accused. Though, we acknowledge the gravity of the offence, we are unable to satisfy ourselves that this case would fall in the category of 'rarest of rare case' warranting the death sentence. The offence committed, undoubtedly, can be said to be brutal, but does not warrant death sentence. It is required to be noted that the accused was not a previous convict or a professional killer".

"However in the facts and circumstances of the case and in view of the reasons stated above, we commute the death sentence to life imprisonment. It will be open to the accused to apply for remission to the State Government which may be considered in accordance with law and on its own merits. Present appeal is disposed of accordingly in terms of the above."

Case: Dnyaneshwar Suresh Borkar v. State of Maharashtra

Bench: Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah.