Cuttack, December 24: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday set aside a death sentence awarded by a POCSO court to a man on charges of rape and murder of a minor girl and remitted the case back to the trial court for rehearing. 

The POCSO court in Angul had awarded the capital punishment to Anam Dehury while adjudging it as a rarest of rare case. The minor girl was brutally killed after being raped at Kangula village in Angul district on January 19, 2019.

Police arrested Dehury, a 22-year-old plumber, who lived in the same village, three days later and named him as the accused in the case. The chargesheet was presented in the court in a month. The POCSO court completed hearing in four months and awarded the death sentence on July 26, 2019. The State government filed a petition for confirmation of the death sentence.

Dehury also filed a criminal appeal against the trial court judgment. When the petition for confirmation was taken up along with the criminal appeal, Dehury’s counsel Bijay Kumar Ragada pointed out certain lapses related to some evidence used by the trial judge to prove the case of the prosecution.

The lapses amounted to not giving the accused opportunity to give his statements on such evidence, it was argued. Endorsing the argument, the division bench of Justice SK Mishra and Justice BP Routray set aside the trial court’s death penalty order and remitted the case back to the trial court for rehearing, The New Indian Express reported.

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