Mahesh Dhanaji Shinde Vs. State of Maharashtra

Mahesh Dhanaji Shinde Vs. State of Maharashtra
Death Sentence – Converted to life imprisonment
Criminal Appeal Nos. 1210-1213 of 2012 with Criminal Appeal Nos. 2089-2091 of 2012 Criminal Appeal Nos. 1238-1239 of 2012 Criminal Appeal Nos. 1240-1241 of 2012-Decided on 27-2-2014.
At the same time, all the four accused were young in age at the time of commission of the offence i.e. 23-29 years. They belong to the economically, socially and educationally deprived section of the population. They were living in acute poverty. It is possible that, being young, they had a yearning for quick money and it is these circumstances that had led to the commission of the crimes in question….. All the circumstances point to the possibility of the accused-appellants being reformed and living a meaningful and constructive life if they are to be given a second chance. In any case, it is not the stand of the State that the accused-appellants, are beyond reformation or are not capable of living a changed life if they are to be rehabilitated in society. Each of the accused have spent over 10 years in incarceration. Though it must not be understood in any other manner the entire case against the accused is built on circumstantial evidence. …. Balancing the two sets of circumstances i.e. one favouring commutation and the other favouring upholding the death penalty, we are of the view that in the present case the option of life sentence is not “unquestionably foreclosed”. Therefore, the sentence of death awarded to the accused should be commuted to life imprisonment…read more