New Delhi: A 23-year-old youth has been sentenced to death penalty for raping and murdering his minor neighbour after inflicting head injuries by a Delhi court which said he was a "menace" to the society and "does not deserve to be kept alive".
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat directed that convict Bharat Kumar be hanged till death as the case falls in the category of rarest of rare and refused to award him lesser punishment, saying rape and murder cases in the country were on the rise and if he is spared the gallows, it would encourage other rapists to kill the victims to escape being caught.
"It (this crime) is a combination of two distinct heinous offences calling for the capital punishment. Perpetrators of crimes like rape and murder forfeit their right to live. Life imprisonment is highly inadequate in these cases and there is no alternative but to impose death sentence.
"These criminals are a menace to the society and they don`t deserve to be kept alive," the court said.
The incident took place in 2010 when Kumar lured the girl, who was then between seven and 11 years, by offering her snacks and chocolate. Being her neighbour, she did not doubt his intentions and accompanied him.
Kumar took her to a secluded field in Palam Village here, raped her and then killed her by causing severe injuries on her head and face. He left the body in the field and fled the spot, police had told the court.
"The fact remains that Kumar killed the victim after sexually assaulting her. If any benefit is sought to be given to him on this score (that he had no intention to murder), it would amount to acknowledging that killing a girl after raping her is not a serious crime and this would encourage the rapists to kill their victims in order to escape being caught or identified, having the belief in their minds that law is on their side and they are not going to be hanged.
"Given the increase in cases of rape and murder throughout the country, I feel that the time has come when the killing of victim by the rapist after rape, even if it is aimed only to avoid identification, should be viewed very seriously and the perpetrators should not be spared of the gallows," the judge said and also imposed a fine of Rs 1.1 lakh on Kumar.