SC upholds death penalty to minor's killer

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday upheld the death sentence given to a man for killing a seven-year-old boy whom he had kidnapped for Rs.5 lakh ransom in 2009 in Tamil Nadu.

Upholding the death sentence awarded to Sunder, the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.S. Khehar said there was no room in law for "any doubt that the offence of kidnapping for ransom accompanied by a threat to cause death contemplates punishment with death".

Justice Khehar said: "Even without an accused actually having committed the murder of the individual kidnapped for ransom, the provision contemplates the death penalty."

The Class 2 student, Suresh, a resident of Karkudal village, some 200 km from Chennai, was kidnapped July 27, 2009, and killed soon after.

Jutice Khehar said there was no doubt that Sunder has been "found to have kidnapped Suresh for ransom, and has also actually committed his murder".

The guilt of Sunder "must be considered to be of the gravest nature, justifying the harshest punishment prescribed for the offence".

Sunder "is guilty of two heinous offences, which independently of one another, provide for the death penalty".

Noting that there was no previous enmity between the parties, the court said: "This fact demonstrates that the accused had no value for human life. The instant circumstance demonstrates extreme mental perversion not worthy of human condonation."

The murder was done in a "well thought out and planned manner", the court said: "This approach of the accused reveals a brutal mindset of the highest order."

The court added that the "choice of kidnapping the particular child for ransom was well planned and consciously motivated."

The trial court gave death penalty to Sunder July 30, 2010, and the Madras High Court upheld the decision Sep 30, 2010.

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