The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday upheld the death penalty handed down by Sessions Judge, Pudukkottai, in case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) for the rape and murder of a 7-year-old child [State v. Samivel]..A Bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and G Jayachandran stressed that if a person like the accused is allowed to survive in the world, he would pollute the minds of co-prisoners on the verge of release.“When the attitude of a man turns into one of a beast having no mercy over other creatures, he should be punished and sent to the eternal world,” the Court said..The Bench was hearing a case arising from the murder of a 7-year-old girl belonging to the Scheduled Caste community who was killed after penetrative sexual assault.The accused had, purportedly, developed a friendship with the child and committed sexual assault on her. Acting on the fear that the child would tell someone about the offence, the accused dashed her head against a tree and threw the body into a dry pond.The trial court found the accused guilty and sentenced him to death by hanging. This judgment came up before the High Court for confirmation..The prosecution submitted that it had proved its case through oral, documentary and scientific evidence and had proved the chain of events from the time the victim went missing to when her dead body was found in the dried pond.The public prosecutor submitted that the accused took advantage of his familiarity with the victim and the mental state of her mother, to sexually assault and murder her.“The accused had gone to the extreme level of murdering an innocent girl for his sexual pleasures and acted in a cruel manner by injuring the sexual organ of the girl, besides causing other injuries,” the PP had argued.It was stated that the trial court had clearly explained the aggravating circumstances which were considered while imposing the death penalty..The accused argued that the case was based on circumstantial evidence and suspicion. It was his contention that the trial court did not consider the break in the chain of circumstances at all.It was further said that this case cannot be treated as rarest of the rare that warrants death penalty. It was urged that the accused be given the benefit of doubt, considering that the witnesses failed to support the prosecution’s case in its entirety..The Division Bench, however, wholly disagreed with these submissions stating that the testimonies were solid and unassailable, and minor discrepancies will not be fatal to the case.“The trial court has rightly on appreciation of evidence has held that the five point test for circumstantial evidence as envisaged by the Supreme Court is fully satisfied in this case. This Court has no alternate view on this aspect,” the order recorded..The Court pointed out that the presumption in this case stood against the accused since Section 29 of the POCSO Act fastened a statutory presumption on the accused.With this, the Court rejected the contention of the accused harping on the delay in lodging a first information report (FIR), reasoning that it was quite natural to search for a missing person at all probable places and only after ascertaining that the missing person was not traceable would one think of lodging a police complaint..To back this reasoning, the judgment of the Supreme Court in Mahendran v. State of Tamil Nadu was discussed wherein it was held that if the delay in registering the FIR is satisfactorily explained, the credibility of the complaint need not be suspected.Therefore, the Court found the accused guilty of aggravated penetrative sexual offence and homicide..While deciding on the point of sentence, the Bench did record its initial hesitance in taking away a person’s life by way of a judicial order. However, it concluded that when a particular duty is given to a person, he must discharge it without fear or favour.Thus, the Court examined the judgment of the Supreme Court in Ramnaresh and others v. State of Chhattisgarh in which the principles were drawn to determine the question relating to the sentencing policy..After examining the evidence, the Court concluded that the accused, after fulfilling his carnal thirst, brutally attacked the child and dashed her head on a tree, so as to pierce her face and neck.“Looking at any angle, it could easily be concluded without any suspicion that in all human probability, the accused must have committed the offence,” the Court said..The Bench stated that the judgment of the trial court fulfilled all the requirements necessary to prove that this was one of the rarest of rare cases, and imposition of any other punishment would be completely insufficient and inadequate.“Taking into consideration the brutality of attack, the barbaric manner in which the deceased child was murdered and the mental agony undergone by the parents, we find that except death sentence, no other sentence will be adequate.”.With these observations, the judgment of the trial court was confirmed..State Public Prosecutor Hassan Mohammed Jinnah appeared for the complainant while the respondent was represented by advocate S Ramasamy.