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Indian Case Summary

Ajay Pandit @ Jagdish Dayabhai … vs State Of Maharashtra on 17 July, 2012 – Case Summary

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In the case of Ajay Pandit @ Jagdish Dayabhai vs. State of Maharashtra on 17 July 2012, the Supreme Court of India was presented with a criminal appeal involving a dentist turned murderer. The case was presided over by the bench of K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra.

Facts of the Case

The accused, Ajay Pandit @ Jagdish Dayabhai Patel, was a dentist by profession, known as Doctor Jagdish Patel in his local community. Despite his professional income, Patel sought a more lavish lifestyle and turned to criminal activities to achieve this. He falsely claimed to have contacts with officials at the American Embassy and used this pretense to lure vulnerable individuals into his scheme, promising them better prospects in America.

Two victims fell into his trap: Nilesh Bhailal Patel and Jayashree. Nilesh was lured with the promise of employment in America, and his family paid Patel a significant sum of money to facilitate this. When Nilesh failed to return home after meeting Patel, his family grew suspicious and later identified Patel as the last person seen with Nilesh.

Jayashree, along with her husband Kaushikbhai and her brother Jagdish, were also victims of Patel’s scheme. They were given sedatives under the guise of necessary medication for their travel to America. While Kaushikbhai and Jagdish survived, Jayashree was found dead.

Issues

The primary issue in this case was the guilt of the accused, Ajay Pandit @ Jagdish Dayabhai Patel, in the murders of Nilesh Bhailal Patel and Jayashree. The case was built on circumstantial evidence, as there were no eyewitnesses to the murders.

Court’s Observations

The court observed that the accused had exploited his professional standing and education to commit heinous crimes. He had not only deceived his victims with false promises but also caused them immense suffering and pain. The court noted the brutal manner in which Patel had murdered Nilesh and Jayashree, referring to him as a “Dentist turned killer.”

The court also noted that Patel had shown no remorse for his actions, maintaining his innocence and claiming that he was not involved in the case. The court found this lack of remorse and the gruesome nature of his crimes as factors contributing to the severity of his sentence.

The court also examined the procedure followed by the High Court in enhancing Patel’s sentence from life imprisonment to death. The court found that the High Court had complied with the procedure laid down under Section 235(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), which requires the court to hear the accused on the question of sentence after conviction.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s decision, confirming Patel’s conviction and the enhancement of his sentence to death. The court found that the case fell into the category of “rarest of rare” cases warranting the death penalty.