Jabalpur (MP), Oct 11 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday commuted the death sentence of a man convicted of raping a minor girl to life term.

A division bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V K Shukla held that the case against Bhaggi alias Bhagirath alias Naran (40) did not fall in the category of ‘rarest of rare’ to warrant capital punishment.

On July 7, a trial court in Sagar district had awarded the death sentence to Bhaggi after finding him guilty of abduction and rape of a nine-year-old girl.

He was accused of luring the girl to a temple and raping her on May 21.

The trial court had sentenced him as per the amended provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in Madhya Pradesh, wherein capital punishment can be awarded in a rape case if the victim is under 12 years of age.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.