New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the “finality” of death sentence is extremely important. It said that prisoners should not be under the impression that the death penalty remains “open-ended” and can be challenged all the time by them.
The remarks came against the backdrop of four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case filing one petition after another leading to the delay in their hanging. The court also stressed that it has to act as per law and judges also have a duty towards the society and the victims to deliver justice.
A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the review pleas of a woman and her lover for killing seven members of her family including parents, two brothers and their wives and strangulating her 10-month-old nephew in Uttar Pradesh in 2008.
The bench reserved its verdict on their review pleas against its 2015 judgement upholding the death penalty to the two convicts.
“One cannot go on fighting endlessly for everything. The finality of death sentence is extremely important and a condemned prisoner should not be under the impression, that the death sentence remains open-ended and can be questioned by them all the time,” it said.
The remarks came when senior advocates Anand Grover and Meenakshi Arora pleaded for leniency and commutation of the death penalty of Shabnam and her lover Saleem on the ground they be afforded an opportunity to reform themselves.
The plea was vehemently opposed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
“A convict cannot seek mercy after killing his parents that oh ho, now I have become an orphan,” said Mehta, who appeared for the UP Government.
The law officer said that after convictions, ground is allowed to be taken that the death row convict has reformed himself or herself in jail then everybody will take that plea and it would open new legal avenues for such condemned criminals.
(With agency inputs)