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Mohd. Firoz v/s State Of Madhya Pradesh Case Law Explanation

I will provide you with all information about the recent judgment that was passed by the supreme court on Mohd. Firoz v/s state of Madhya Pradesh. I will speak in detail about the recent supreme court decision, and try to explain it in the simplest manner possible.

Bench: Justice Uday U Lalit, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Justice Bela M. Trivedi
Appellant: Mohd. Firoz
Respondent: State of Madhya Pradesh v/s Appellant counsels: Senior Counsel Mr. B.H. Marlapalle
Respondent counsels - Advocate Mr. P.V. Yogeswaran
Judgment/ order date - 19/04/2022

Facts
The case was originally filed by Bibisidhika, the mother of Mohd. Firoz challenged the legality and validity of the impugned order and common judgment of the high court of judicature of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur dated 15/07/2014. After bibisidhika expired, Firoz was substituted as the appellant by this court following the order passed on 21/10/2021.

The case began in 2013 when two accused Md. Firoz Khan and Rakesh Chaudhary visited a home to provide accommodation to the said unknown person for a day. Upon being denied by the victim's mother, Rakesh Choudhary left, while Firoz khan seized the opportunity to kidnap the four-year-old playing in the courtyard of the house.

The victim's family had registered a missing complaint at the local police station. The next day, the girl was found lying unconscious in the field in MP's ghansaur district. The victim died in Nagpur during the treatment in April 2013 while the postmortem report confirmed the occurrence of rape upon the girl child.

The accused Rakesh Choudhary was arrested on 20th April 2013 and the appellant-accused firoz was arrested on 23rd April 2013 from husainabad, police station mojahidpur, balsaur, Bhagalpur, Bihar.

The accused Mohd. Firoz was charged for the offenses under sections 363, 366, 376(2)(i), 376(2)(m), and 302 of IPC and under sections 5(i), 5(m), and Section 6 of the protection of children from the sexual offenses act, 2012 (hereinafter referred to as the POCSO Act), and

The accused Rakesh Choudhary was charged for the offenses under sections 363 and 366 with respect to section 34 and under section 109 of IPC and under Section 16/17 of the POCSO Act.

After both the accused denied their guilt and demanded a trial, the prosecution examined 34 witnesses to prove their guilt. Both denied the accusations leveled against them in their further statements recorded under section 313 of the Cr.PC said they were falsely implicated in the case.

Session Courts Judgement
The sessions court at seoni after appreciating the evidence on record convicted both the accused for the offences charged against them and awarded the death sentence to the accused firoz for the offense under section 302 of IPC and directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 07 years and pay fine of Rs. 2000/- for the offense under section 363, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years and pay fine of Rs. 2000/- for the offense under section 366 of IPC, to undergo life imprisonment and pay fine of Rs. 2000/- for the offences under sections 376(2)(i), 376(2)(m) of IPC and under sections 5(i)r/w 6 & 5(m) r/w 6 of POCSO Act.

The sessions court directed the accused Rakesh choudhary to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 07 years and pay fine of Rs. 2000/- for the offences under section 363/34, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years and pay fine of Rs. 2000/- for the offences under section 366/34 and to undergo life imprisonment and pay fine of Rs. 2000/- for the offence under section 109 of IPC and for the offences under section 16/17 of POCSO Act.

Appeal before High Court
The accused Mohd. firoz had also filed an appeal being Criminal Appeal No. 2920 of 2013 and the accused rakesh choudhary had filed an appeal being Criminal Appeal No. 3132 of 2013 before the high court.

The high court impugned common judgement and order dated 15.07.2014 allowed the criminal appeal No. 3132 of 2013 filed by the accused rakesh choudhary and acquitted him from the charges levelled against him, high court dismisses Mohd firoz's criminal appeal and confirms his death sentence. Having been aggrieved by the same, the appellant has filed this appeal.

Analysis
A three-member bench issued the order observing that maximum punishment may not always lend itself to repairing the psyche of the offender. The bench reviewed the evidence in the case and found it to be very conclusive so as to rule out any other possibility other than the guilt of the accused. Having regard to section 376A of the IPC, the SC panel found it appropriate to commute the death penalty for life imprisonment under section 302 of the IPC. It stated that this sentence would have been appropriate in light of the severity and gravity of the offense.

The panel emphasized the principle of restorative justice by quoting british novelist Oscar Wilde's statement, "The only difference between a saint and a sinner is that each has a past and every sinner has a future". Courts have noted that it is important to give offenders an opportunity to repair the damage they caused and to become productive members of society when they are released from prison. Thus, the court ruled, "While balancing retributive justice with restorative justice, we believe it appropriate to impose upon the defendant-appellant the penalty of twenty years' imprisonment instead of life imprisonment for the offence under section 376A."

Decision/ Judgement:
On Wednesday, the supreme court revoked the death sentence of rape and murder convict mohd. firoz. According to the apex court, Madhya pradesh high court's ruling in jabalpur in 2014 was illegal, as 'every sinner has a future'.

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