New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld the award of life imprisonment to a sacked Army man for killing his Post Commander at Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir in 2006 after the deceased physically assaulted and attempted to sodomise him.
Upholding verdicts of Summary General Court Martial, the Armed Forces Tribunal and the Delhi High Court, a three-judge bench headed by Justice T S Thakur rejected the plea of soldier B D Khunte that he be given benefit of an exception clause of the penal code as he shot dead his senior Randhir Singh out of "sudden and grave provocation".
The court, which said that the provocation was there as the deceased had attempted to sodmoise the accused around 2:00 pm, however, observed that provocation cannot be termed as "sudden" as the murder took place at around 9:30 pm on June 28, 2006.
"The only question, as seen earlier, is whether the incident that took place around 1400 hrs in the store room could mitigate the offence committed by the appellant.
"The answer to that question would in turn depend upon the nature of the incident and whether the same would constitute grave and sudden provocation for the appellant to have shot the deceased long after the store room incident had taken place," the bench, also comprising justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi, said.
It observed that there was no evidence that "the deceased had actually sodomised him."
"The contention that the day time incident being such that the appellant could get a grave provocation, the moment he saw the deceased coming towards the place where he was on guard duty, also has not appealed to us," it said.