STATE OF PUNJAB Vs. JASWAMT SINGH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF PUNJAB
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(1.)THIS appeal and the special leave petition arise out of an order made by the High Court modifying the sentence of death imposed upon the respondent in Criminal
Appeal No. 633 of 1995 (Respondent 2 in SLPs (Crl.) Nos. 3347-48 of 1994).
(2.)THE High Court while affirming the conviction imposed by the trial court felt that the motive for commission of crime was obscure and it cannot be said with any degree of
certainty that the accused committed the murder of Raj Kumari and Raj Rani out of
greed or gain. The Court, however, noticed that the said two persons Raj Kumari and
Raj Rani were two old, infirm and defenceless ladies who had reposed confidence in
him and engaged him as a domestic servant. Even so, the High Court held that it was
not a rarest of the rare cases or an exceptional case which calls for imposition of
extreme penalty of death on the said accused and, therefore, declined to accept the
reference made by the trial court for confirmation of the death sentence and allowed the
appeal before it to reduce the sentence to imprisonment for life under S.302 IPC.
Shri. P. N. Lekhi, learned Senior Advocate submitted that this is a case where two innocent ladies had been murdered in the most grotesque manner and if one notices
the scene of crime as disclosed by the prosecution case, there cannot be any manner
of doubt as to motive. He further submitted, assuming for a moment that as observed
by the High Court, the motive may not be clear still if it had been established that the
two ladies met with their end at the hands of the accused in the manner described in
the course of the evidence tendered before the Court, there could be no manner of
doubt that it is one of the rarest of the rare cases as noticed by this Court in somewhat
identical circumstances in Amrutlal Someshwar Joshi v. State of Maharashtra, 1994 (6)
SCC 186 : 1994 SCC (Cri.) 1591. He submitted that this is a case where the master of
the house had been killed by a servant. He emphasised that the Court in the reported
case having realised certain values in relation to master and servant had dwindled and
held that it would be appropriate to impose a sentence of death and that should be the
course to be adopted in the present case also.
(3.)PERHAPS we would have accepted what the learned Senior Advocate submitted before us in this case, had there not been other circumstances arising in the present
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