Posted On Saturday, March 09, 2013 , Mumbai Mirror

The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence awarded to a 22-year-old for raping and killing a 9-yearold girl.

“The accused is a menace to society and will continue to be so, and there is no possibility of him being reformed,” the division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice A M Thipsay observed while pronouncing the verdict on Friday.

Raju Paswan, originally from Muzzapur in Bihar, was convicted by an additional sessions judge in Sangli in November last year.

The high court upheld the verdict of the lower court, which said the crime was premeditated, and not committed on impulse.

The court also observed he chose a girl of that age as she could be overpowered easily.

“The victim, by virtue of her age, was in a situation where she could have offered little or no resistance at all. The accused has committed an offence of rape on a defenceless child, which is the ultimate insult to womanhood. The entire gory and grisly incident had shocked the collective conscience of the village,” observed the high court.

The court also rejected advocate Niteen Pradhan’s plea for mercy on account of Paswan’s age. The bench noted that an accused who has shown remorse and genuine regret at having committed an offence is someone who can be reformed.

It added, “An offender who remains a nonchalant offender throughout and does not show any regret or repentance at having committed the offence, cannot be said to be aperson who can be reformed.”

Rejecting all the contentions raised against the prosecution’s case, the court accepted all the arguments made by chief public prosecutor Revati Mohite Dere.

The incident dates back to June 21, 2010, when the victim went missing from her home in Bedag village, Sangli district. Her father, a farm labourer, lodged a missing person complaint.

During their investigation the police learnt that the victim was last seen with Paswan, who used to live in the neighbouring house.

One of the main witnesses in the case was a 10-year-old child who, while playing with his friends, had seen Paswan dragging the girl to a secluded place.