The Orissa high court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence of a rape and murder convict to life imprisonment.
“A division bench of the court comprising justice Pradip Mohanty and justice Biswajit Mohanty held the case did not come under rarest of the rare cases deserving death,” defence lawyer DK Ragada told HT.
Khidu Munda (30), the convict, had kidnapped a three-year-old girl from her village in Sambalpur district, about 320 km west of Bhubaneswar, after luring her with the promise of sweets on October 4 last year. After raping and killing her, he had dumped her body in a forest.
The body was found four days later and the police arrested Munda on October 13.
On January 17 this year, a fast-track court in Sambalpur had held Munda guilty of raping and murdering the minor girl and awarded him death penalty.