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Supreme Court stayed the Death Penalty of a man convicted for raping a minor girl of 10 years of age and killing her and her brother in Coimbatore 9 years ago, till 16 October.

In a case Manoharan V State by Inspector of Police today Supreme Court hearing the Review petition seeking modification of its earlier order wherein it had confirmed the capital punishment in August by a 2:1 majority.

Senior Counsel Siddharth Luthra appearing for the petitioner sort an adjournment as the trial court records are not available today with him and he wants to inspect the file before arguing into the matter.

Following which the bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Surya Kant defers the hearing till 16 October with clear instructions to the counsel that the matter would not be adjourned further. Manhohar who was convicted and scheduled to be hanged on 20 September got few more days to survive with the passing of the order.

In the background of the case, Manohar and Mohana krishnan abducted a girl aged 10 years old and her brother aged 7 years old from outside a Hindu Temple when the children’s were preparing to go to school. Both allegedly committed a rape on the girl. Thereafter, considering that the girl had been brutally raped (her anus having ruptured), the two accused bought what is called cow dung powder which is nothing but a poisonous substance which is added to cow dung to keep insects away. Both children ingested only a small portion of the cow dung powder mixed with the milk and did not die. Mohanakrishnan and the Manohar thereafter to do away threw the children’s in canal.

The High Court of Madras, in the impugned judgment dated 24.3.2014, set aside the Manohar’s conviction under Section 120-B and 364-A of the Penal Code, but confirmed the sentences under Sections 376, 302, Section 302 read with Section 34, and Section 201. After considering aggravating and mitigating circumstances, ultimately the death sentence imposed by the trial court was confirmed by the High Court.

Supreme Court had also upheld that the case does not fall under the category of rarest of rare case i.e there is no alternative but to impose death sentence.

— India Legal Bureau

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