New Delhi: A man`s death penalty for killing his foster parents and his pregnant wife for opposing his extra-marital affair was on Friday commuted to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court.
A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Sunita Gupta reduced the sentence of 29-year-old Nitin Verma considering his age and antecedents while disposing of the state`s plea for confirmation of death penalty.
"No doubt triple murder has been committed by the convict in a gruesome and diabolic manner but it cannot be lost sight of the fact that this was not a murder to satisfy any greed. The accused has no bad antecedents, neither he is a hardcore criminal, nor an anti-social element nor even an anti-national element.
"He is a young boy. The possibility of his rehabilitation and reformation is not foreclosed. As such, we are of the opinion that this is not a case where death penalty is warranted. The appellant/accused, therefore, instead of being awarded death penalty is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life...," the bench said.
Verma had stabbed his handicapped father, mother and his six-month pregnant wife to death in April 2008. He had been adopted by his parents when he was barely a few days old.
While awarding death penalty, the trial court had held that Verma, who was working with a courier company, was a menace to the society.
The court had said that Verma had committed the three murders in a pre-planned manner one after another. He had first killed his father on the ground floor of the house, then rushed to the first floor and killed his mother and thereafter gone into his room where he killed his wife.
"All the three victims had been stabbed a number of times all over their bodies and all were lying in a pool of blood. This shows the brutality of the acts of the convict and the diabolic as well as the grotesque manner in which he committed the murder," the trial court had said.
It had said that the convict wiped out his whole family consisting of his parents and wife in order to ensure that he continued his liaison with a girl in the neighbourhood and to marry her.
"The convict is a menace to the society. When he did not spare his own parents and wife and killed them in cold blood, what respect he would show for the lives of others. The convict is like a live bomb, which has the potential of causing a huge catastrophe, if not destroyed at the earliest," the trial court had said while refusing him any leniency.
It had held that the case was "rarest of rare" which shook the collective conscience of the society.
"There was no justification at all for the convict to commit the grotesque killings. The convict appears to be without any remorse," it had said.