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No death rap for crime of passion

The Supreme Court has ruled that death sentence cannot be awarded for a crime committed in a fit of passion, reports Bhadra Sinha.

delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2007 02:16 IST
Bhadra Sinha

The Death sentence cannot be awarded for a crime committed in a fit of passion, the Supreme Court has ruled. Reducing the capital punishment awarded to a man from Punjab to life imprisonment in a rape-cum-double murder case, the court held that a crime of passion does not come within the category of “rarest of the rare” cases.

The ruling is likely to benefit Santosh Singh who was sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court for allegedly raping and murdering his junior in Delhi University, Priyadarshini Mattoo, in a fit of rage.

The judgment came on an appeal by Kulwinder Singh against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order upholding his conviction. The Supreme Court reduced Singh’s sentence, saying, “We reduce the sentence to life imprisonment since it appears to us that the crime was committed in a fit of passion and does not come within the category of rarest of the rare cases.”