Capital punishment was sought for M Srinivas Reddy, the accused in the Hajipur serial rape and murders, in the Telangana High Court on Monday, with Special Public Prosecutor Chandrashekhar arguing that it was the 'rarest of rare' crimes.
The Special Public Prosecutor cited earlier verdicts of the Supreme Court and other High Courts, where minor girls were raped and killed and said that Srinivas must be awarded the death penalty.
M Srinivas Reddy was arrested in April 2019 for allegedly raping and killing three minor girls in Hajipur, a village at the outskirts of Hyderabad. The police had accused Srinivas of offering lifts to minor girls on his bike, on the pretext of dropping them, before he would take them to an isolated area and allegedly rape and kill them.
Pointing out that Srinivas was a habitual offender and had been allegedly involved in the murder of a woman in Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, the Special Public Prosecutor said that there was enough scientific evidence to link him to the crimes that he was being tried for.
Concluding his arguments, Chandrashekhar said that death punishment would act as a deterrent to others, from committing such heinous crimes. After hearing the argument, the court posted the case for Tuesday.
Srinivas's counsel is expected to present his argument in court on Wednesday. The court is presently hearing final statements before it delivers its judgement.
Asked for his statement last week, Srinivas claimed that he was framed by the police and told the fast-track court that he did not know how to ride a bike and did not possess a cell phone. He also claimed that he was impotent, and therefore could not have committed the crimes.
However, this is unlikely to affect the case, as the police have filed three separate chargesheets and submitted forensic lab reports, technical evidence and eyewitness accounts to the court as part of the evidence.
The trial began in the last week of October before a local fast track court in Nalgonda and the accused is currently lodged in the Nalgonda district jail.