A court in Madhya Pradesh on Monday sentenced a 22-year-old man to death for raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl in Sagar district in 2017, PTI reported. The state’s Director of Public Prosecution Rajendra Kumar said this was the eleventh case of a court sentencing a person to death for sexually assaulting a minor.
On August 19, The Indian Express had reported that the state government had formulated a “reward system” to encourage state prosecutors to facilitate speedy trials and quick convictions in rape cases. According to the report, prosecutors are now awarded 1,000 points for a death sentence, 500 for life imprisonment and 100 to 200 for the maximum punishment in a lower court.
Additional government advocate MD Avasthi alleged that the accused Sarvesh Sen raped the girl on December 7 before pouring kerosene over the victim and setting her ablaze. She succumbed to her injuries seven days later, Avasthi said.
Kumar said the case was categorised as a sensational and heinous offence. “The Bhangarh police station in-charge sub-inspector Ravi Bhushan Pathak completed the investigation in 21 days,” Kumar said. “The challan was presented on December 28, 2017.” Bina First Additional Session Judge Alok Mishra sentenced Sen after finding him guilty of the charges filed against him.
On April 22, the Centre promulgated an ordinance to allow death penalty for convicts of rape of girls below 12 years of age. In May, a district court in Indore had sentenced a man to death for raping and killing a four-month-old girl, three weeks after the crime. In July, a court in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district sentenced a 40-year-old man to death on Saturday for raping a minor in May.
On July 3, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan urged Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra to set up fast-track higher courts or come up with some other mechanism to expedite hearings in rape cases.
On August 12, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, that provides either death penalty or life imprisonment to people convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years.