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Crimes against women are ‘social crimes’ and ‘disrupt the entire social fabric’, the Supreme Court Friday noted and asked a man convicted of murdering his wife why his life imprisonment should not be enhanced to death sentence.

The ‘brutal and barbaric’ murder of a wife that ‘outrages the modern conscience’ belongs to the rarest of rare category deserving death sentence, the court noted.

‘In our opinion, the crimes of the nature which has been committed in the present case outrage the modern conscience, and they belong to the rarest of rare category deserving death sentence,’ said the apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra in their order.

Referring to a recent judgment of the apex court, the order said that crimes against women are not ordinary crimes committed in a fit of anger or for property.

The order noted that crimes against women call for harsher punishment.

The court said this while issuing notice to one Sukhdev Singh as to why his life sentence should not be enhanced to death sentence. The court said that Sukhdev Singh would be at liberty to argue the case on merit.

In the instant case, Sukhdev’ wife Daljit Kaur was first strangulated and thereafter burnt. The medical report said that some of the bones of her neck were fractured and there was bleeding on the neck.

‘In our prima facie opinion, these could clearly not be self inflicted injuries. Also, there are burns all over the body,’ the order said. The court also noted that at the time of Daljit’s death her husband Sukhdev Singh was also present in the house.

The court noted that there was evidence Daljit Kaur was being ill-treated by her husband and was often beaten by him. Sukhdev Singh was convicted under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for committing the murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The conviction and sentencing was upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court by its impugned order of July 21, 2010.

Now the apex court has issued notice to Sukhdev Singh as to why his life sentence should not be enhanced to death.


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