New Delhi: The Supreme Court has commuted death penalty of a man, who killed his wife and daughter, to life imprisonment, saying that his reformation is not foreclosed in this case.
A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and FM I Kalifulla set aside the death sentence, awarded by trial court and upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, saying that the case does not fall in rarest of rare category and the convict was feeling frustrated because of the attitude of his wife and children.
Convict Mohinder Singh committed the crime while on parole from jail where he was undergoing a 12-year sentence for raping his 12-year-old daughter. In January 2005, he came out on parole and killed his wife who was a witness to the rape, and the daughter he had raped.
"It was highlighted that he being a poor man and unable to earn his livelihood...He was driven out of his house by his deceased wife. It is also his claim that if he was allowed to live in the house, he could easily meet both his ends and means, as the money which he was spending by paying rent would have been saved.
"It is his further grievance that his deceased wife was adamant he should live outside and should not lead a happy married life and that was the reason that their relations were strained. This also shows that the accused was feeling frustrated because of the attitude of his wife and children," the bench said.
The bench also took a lenient approach by taking into account the fact that he did not harm his other daughter who was also present in the house when he committed the offence.
"One significant factor in this case, which we should not loose sight of is that he did not harm his other daughter, even though he had a good chance for the same," it said.
"Moreover, the probability of the offender’s rehabilitation and reformation is not foreclosed in this case. Likewise, we can see from the affidavit filed by the sister of the accused that his family has not totally renounced him as yet," the judgement said.