SC dismisses Vasant Dupare's review petition in 4-year-old's rape and murder case, says convict will be hanged

Devyani Sultania
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the review petition of Vasant Sampat Dupare, who was sentenced to death in the rape and murder of a four-year-old in 2008, saying that the "depravity" and the barbaric nature of the crime calls for capital punishment.

Dupare had raped and murdered a four-year-old girl after luring her with chocolates and taking her to a secluded spot in Nagpur in April 2008. He then raped her, crushed her head with stones and hid her body. Scientific and circumstantial evidence and testimonies of witnesses proved he was guilty.

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"We have given anxious consideration to the issue. The extreme depravity and barbaric manner in which the crime was committed clearly outweigh the mitigating circumstances. No case is made out. Review petition dismissed," the Supreme Court said on Wednesday while dismissing Dupare's review petition.

Fifty-five-year-old Dupare, who is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail, had moved the apex court seeking a review of the death sentence awarded to him by a trial court without his lawyer in 2008. He cited his age as one of the reasons why his death sentence should be commuted to a life term. His lawyer also argued that he had been "deprived of an opportunity to make submissions on sentence as the trial court imposed the death sentence on him on the very same day he was convicted in the case."

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The Bombay High Court had confirmed his death penalty while the Supreme Court had upheld the sentence in November 2014 saying: "The nature of the crime and the manner in which it has been committed speak about its uncommonness. The crime speaks of depravity, degradation and uncommonality. It is diabolical and barbaric... It is perversity in its enormity. It irrefutably invites the extreme abhorrence and indignation of the collective. It is an anathema to the social balance. In our view, it meets the test of rarest of the rare case and we unhesitatingly so hold."

The convict can now seek Presidential pardon as a last option.