The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a plea by a death row convict seeking review of the top court's judgement affirming the capital punishment imposed on him for "horribly" gang-raping a minor girl and killing her along with her brother in Coimbatore in 2010.
A three-judge bench of Justices RF Nariman, Sanjiv Khanna and Surya Kant reserved the judgement and asked the counsel appearing for the state to file written submissions within a week.
"Heard Siddharth Luthra, senior advocate, appearing on behalf of the petitioner. He has furnished a detailed written submission, which will be considered by us. Yogesh Kanna, counsel appearing on behalf of the state, seeks time to respond to this detailed written submission. We give him one week's time to do so. Judgment reserved," the bench said.
The top court had last month stayed the execution of convict Manoharan and said it would hear arguments on his plea seeking review of its August 1 verdict which had confirmed his death penalty.
The top court had on August 1 sent Manoharan to jail for "horribly" gang-raping a 10-year-old girl along with a co-accused and killing her and her seven-year-old brother by throwing them in a canal with their hands tied.
Terming the offence as "shocking" and "cold-blooded", a three-judge bench, by a majority of 2:1, had upheld the verdicts of the trial court and the Madras High Court to award death penalty to the convict saying that the offence fell under the "rarest of rare" category.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Luthra told the bench that some circumstances were not considered by the court.
He said there was no consideration on the aspect whether the convict could be reformed.
Manoharan and co-accused Mohanakrishnan, who was later shot dead in an encounter, had picked up the minor girl and her younger brother from outside a temple on October 29, 2010 when they were going to school.
They had tied the hands of both minor siblings and brutally gang-raped the girl before trying to kill them by poisoning.
As they did not die of poisoning, the two men tied their hands and threw them to Parambikulam-Axhiyar Project canal where they drowned.
In its August 1 verdict, Justices Nariman, Khanna and Surya Kant were on the same page in upholding the conviction of Manoharan for offences of kidnapping, gang rape and murder.
However, Justice Khanna was of the view that instead of death penalty, the jail term for the remainder of life without any benefit of remission would meet the ends of justice.
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