A bench of justices Swatanter Kumar (now retired) and Madan B Lokur had held just days before the Delhi gangrape case that the manner in which the crime was committed and the mental condition of accused must be examined before putting the offence in the rarest of rare category.
"It is not only the crime and its various facets which are the foundation for formation of special reasons as contemplated under Section 354(3) of the CrPC (pertaining to death sentence) for imposing death penalty but it is also the criminal, his background," the bench had said.
In the case, convict Sainath Kailash Abhang (then 23 year old) had, on September 10, 2007, entered the woman's house in Pune and had killed her.
He had then mercilessly chopped off the wrist of her left hand and four fingers of the right hand.
After committing the gruesome act, he repeatedly assaulted a pregnant relative of the deceased and raped her.
The court after going through all the evidences, including the statement of the injured lady, who said the convict was drunk, granted him the relief.