SC stays capital punishment for Daswant; issues notice to state govt

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The Supreme Court rejected the demand that the pleas on Jammu and Kashmir be taken up immediately. Photo: iStock.

The Supreme Court on April 8 stayed the death sentence, of murder convict S Daswant, which was first ordered by a trial court and upheld by the Madras High Court on appeal. He was sentenced for sexually assaulting and murdering a seven-year-old girl at an apartment in Mugalivakkam, Chennai on February 5, 2017.

In 2018, after the Mahila court in Chengalpattu convicted the 23-year-old and sentenced him to death, he preferred an appeal before the all-woman division bench of justices S Vimala and  S Ramathilagam constituted for hearing cases related to crimes against women and children. While upholding the sentence, the court observed that the sole stimulus for the crime was to satisfy physical pleasure. “After achieving that objective, the convict had gone to the extent of murdering the child, hiding the body for quite some time in his house while pretending to be searching the child along with her parents and then burning the body with petrol at a remote location.”

However, the convict went on an appeal to the Supreme Court, which heard the case and ordered a stay on his execution while issuing a notice to the Tamil Nadu government returnable in a week’s time.