Rape-murder convict appeals against trial court verdict

Rape-murder convict appeals against trial court verdict
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Srinagar: A man convicted of rape and murder of a minor girl and awarded death penalty by a trial court in Srinagar in December 2017 has appealed the high court against the judgment.
Farooq Ahmed Pinchoo of Mehjoor Nagar filed the appeal before a division bench on Tuesday pleading that the trial court has not appreciated the real facts of the case and the appellant has remained unheard in the matter to prove his innocence.
“The trial court without considering the plea raised by appellant has passed the judgement,” the appeal filed through his counsel Mushtaq Ahmed Dar said.
On 30 December 2017, Second Additional Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Tahir Khurshid Raina awarded death penalty to Pinchoo after he was convicted of rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in 2005.
“Convict is awarded capital punishment. He shall be hanged till death,” the trial court had held, referring to various Supreme Court Judgments to term the crime as rarest of rare.
The judge had remarked that it was unpardonable “that a little doll of just six years of age, who was yet to bloom and add to the beauty of the world, was crushed to death in the most horrendous and barbaric manner in the year 2005 by the accused/convict.”
Pinchoo’s counsel pleaded in the appeal that suspicion is not the substitute for proof. “There is a long distance between ‘may be true’ or ‘must be true’ and the prosecution has to travel all the way to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt”.
The appeal will be heard before high court.
The trial court has observed that after committing the highly detestable act of extreme depravity, the accused had wrapped the girl’s dead body in a sack and had thrown it in a trench to conceal it.
“When all members of the said locality were searching for the girl, he was a mute spectator… This incident sent a shockwave in the entire area and everyone came out to search for her and pray for her safe recovery. Finally, on fifth day since she went missing, she was recovered from the trench in a sack,” the judge had said.