Even while acknowledging that the murders he committed were "cold-blooded and cruel," the Delhi High Court on Wednesday commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence imposed on a youth on the ground that the accused was just 21 years old and the sole bread-winner of his family.
A division bench of Justice RS Sodhi and Justice PK Bhasin, however, held that the trial court has correctly appreciated the material placed before it and there is no infirmity in the finding of the guilt which justified the conviction of the accused for the murder of a woman and her child.
According to the prosecution, accused Sushil Kumar, a tailor, entered the house of one Anil Kumar at Mdanpur Khadar under Sarita Vihar police station on January 28, 2001 and allegedly committed the murders of his wife Anita and their two-year-old daughter Megha.
The killing was said to be a sequel to a professional rivalry between the accused and Anil who was also in the same business.
Based on various circumstantial and material evidence, the Additional Sessions Judge sentenced Sushil to death.
However, the bench before whom the matter came up for refence felt that the trial court had primarily imposed the death sentence on account of the multiple injuries inflicted on the mother and daughter which resulted in their deaths.
The court further said, "It cannot be said that there is no alternative but to impose death sentence and that there is no possibility of rehabilitating the appellant to society. We are therfore of the opinion that in this case of circumstantial evidence, sentence of life would suffice the interests of justice."
Accordingly, the court converted the death sentence to life imprisonment.