Darjeeling witnesses its first capital punishment

Darjeeling, Aug 19: In the history of Darjeeling’s court judgements, for the first time, the sessions judge awarded capital punishment to a person named Amar Rai guilty of murder. 37 year old Rai was found guilty of murdering his own mother Prem Kumari Rai in cold blood. The Sessions Judge convicted Rai for committing offence under Section 302 IPC (murder).

On November 19, 2006 at around 8.15am the medical officer of Darjeeling district correctional home was informed by two ladies that Prem Kumari Rai, female warden of the correctional home was lying dead in her jail quarters.

The dead body was wrapped in a bed sheet and polythene. She had been physically abused also. Amar, son of the victim had confessed the crime. He also brought out a blood stained axe from the kitchen with which he had murdered his mother and handed over the murder weapon to the police.

Amar had stated that after murdering his mother he had wrapped the dead body in a bed sheet and polythene and had gone to fetch wood for the coffin, stated Binod Agarwal, Public Prosecutor (PP,) Darjeeling, West Bengal.

Around 17 witnesses had been examined in this case. “Amar Rai’s father Man Bahadur Rai was an employee at the Darjeeling correctional home. After Man Bahadur Rai’s demise his wife Prem Kumari got a job at the correctional home. Amar’s grudge was why he had not got the job instead of his mother” added the PP. However, neighbors stated that Amar, allegedly a drug addict, used to beat up his mother and physically abuse her regularly.

Pronouncing the sentence at around 1:25pm, Subrata Mitra, sessions judge, Darjeeling stated, “It is cold blooded murder and the convict is not repentant for the acts done by him. If we consider the facts, circumstances of this case and the conduct of the accused person then this case can be treated as rarest of the rare cases. The society will lose faith upon the law if lenient view is taken by the Court in the matter of imposing sentence upon the offender of such type of heinous crime. Maximum punishment should be imposed to prevent recurrence of similar offence. Let him be hanged by the neck till he is dead.”

“This is for the first time that death sentence is being pronounced in the district” stated the PP. “In my 47 year long profession in the Darjeeling district court I have not heard of capital punishment being awarded in the district. I am not aware of capital punishment in the British days in this region. It truly is a landmark judgment” said Taranga Pundit, senior lawyer, Darjeeling district court.

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