The Delhi High Court has upheld the life sentence of a man convicted of kidnapping and murdering a two-year-old girl in 2016. The prosecution argued that the accused had abducted the child from outside her home and subsequently struck her against a temple staircase, leading to her death.
A bench consisting of Justices Mukta Gupta and Poonam A Bamba dismissed the appeal filed by the accused, affirming that the prosecution had provided sufficient evidence to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The court stated, “The prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, we find no merit in this appeal. The appeal is accordingly dismissed.”
The appellant argued before the high court that the prosecution had failed to demonstrate that he caused any injury resulting in the girl’s death. Additionally, he claimed that there were inconsistencies and contradictions in the testimonies of witnesses.
He further contended that the child had accidentally slipped from the lap of another person, an eyewitness and that a false narrative had been created to falsely implicate him, emphasizing that there was no motive for him to commit the crime.
The court noted that the absence of a motive on the part of the appellant is not always fatal to the prosecution’s case. The post-mortem report indicated that the cause of death was “cranio cerebral damage consequent upon blunt force impact to the head.”
The court concluded, “In the facts of the instant case, as the prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant had hit the deceased, an infant, against the floor/stairs of the mandir causing injuries on the head and other parts.”
The prosecution countered the appeal by asserting that the witnesses’ testimonies unquestionably established the appellant’s presence at the scene of the crime and his commission of the heinous offence.
During the trial, the victim’s mother informed the court that the appellant resided as a tenant in the adjacent room of the same house where she and her family, including the one-year-and-four-months-old deceased, lived. She further disclosed that he had frequently threatened her children.
In October 2018, the trial court sentenced the appellant to life imprisonment after convicting him under Sections 363 (kidnapping) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. (With inputs from PTI)