Hey friends, I will introduce you to the very famous case Shabnam Case. It is a very famous case to understand all about Capital Punishment( Death Penalty ). With this famous case, I will also explain to you all about Capital Punishment ( Death Penalty ).
Today I will cover a very important topic. First of all, if a criminal is sentenced to death, then “What type of remedies are available to the Prisoner after that?” and the second is, Before understanding the first question, we will understand, “what is the case for Shabnam vs UP?” And today I will also cover the topic that, “why the case of Shabnam vs UP has become so famous?”
That is the matter of 13 years ago, On April 14, 2008, Shabnam’s family lived in the village Bavarkhedi District:-Amroha. In this family, 8 people were living. The only daughter Shabnam was 25 years old and father, mother, brother, and 10-months-old child were the members of the family. Shabnam’s father was a school teacher. Shabnam herself is also a double M.A. and taught in primary school.
Shabnam’s affair was going on with 8th pass Salim. During this affair, Shabnam became pregnant. He talked to the family members of the house to marry Salim but the family members were not ready, after which he conspired with Salim. In April, Shabnam’s family was asleep after eating. Shabnam had mixed sleeping pills in that food. Due to this, the whole family fainted.
Then Shabnam called her lover Salim. Then both killed the family members by slitting their throat with an ax and also strangulated the 10-month-old child to death. After that, Salim ran away but Shabnam stayed. The next day she made a lot of noise and alleged that the criminal had entered the house and killed all the people and I could barely escape. But within 2 weeks of the investigation, it was clear to the police that these murders were done by Salim and Shabnam.
Their crime was proved that both have done these murders. Due to this being proved, both went behind the bars of the jail.
In the same year, Shabnam gave birth to a son in jail, whom the journalists of Bulandshahr whose name is Usman Saify raising as their own son.
After this, the 2010 Amroha Sessions Court has sentenced them to death, which was confirmed by the Allahabad High Court in 2013, and by the Supreme Court in 2015. After this, in 2015, Shabnam filed a mercy petition before UP Governor Ram Nayak. And in this mercy petition, Shabnam said that she has some responsibility towards her son Mohommad Taj, in view of which his death sentence should be quashed, but her mercy petition gets rejected.
So in 2016, she files one more mercy petition with President Pranab Mukherjee. In January 2020, a bench of the Supreme Court was heading the CJI S.A. Bobde. Supreme Court has also retained this death sentence.
So now, the main question here is that
If someone is sentenced to death, what alternative is available to him?
First of all, the lower court/Trial Court pronounces the punishment of the death sentence. Then the judgment of the Lower Court means the Sessions Court is challenged/Appeal in the High Court Under Section 366(1) CrPC. There is an appeal in the High Court that this judgment should be quashed, but if the High Court also feels that the judgment of the trial court is correct, then it upholds this sentiment. And then it is the turn of the Supreme Court. If Supreme Court also confirmed the sentence, then the review petition is filed in the Supreme Court which comes under Article 137 of the Indian Constitution and this review petition should be filed within 30 days of the judgment.
So the question is, “when can the review petition be filed?”
So the review petition is filed if a shred of new evidence comes to the fore or any error is found in the judgment.
If the review petition is also rejected, then the help of a curative petition is taken. And if there is any merit or substance in the curative petition in the judgment, then it goes back to the same bench which pronounced this judgment.
When all the remedies are closed then the only remedy of the mercy petition is available with the criminal. So Article 72 of the Constitution gives the power of mercy Petition to the President, and Article 161 of the Constitution gives the power of mercy petition to the Governor of the State. And by using this power the Government or the Central Government can commute or reduce any punishment. Or President or governor can pardon that punishment. Meaning that President can totally acquit the person & let him go free like a normal citizen. Now let us understand, “what is the process of mercy petition?”
“What is the process of mercy petition?”
The offender or his relative submits a written petition to the President. This petition is accepted by the Secretariat of the President. Then this petition is sent to the ministry of Home affairs for their recommendations/suggestions and Comments. Then the Home Ministry discusses the merit of this petition with the concerned State Government. After all the discussion, the Home Ministry sends this petition back to the President with its recommendations and comments for the president’s decision.
There is no time limit for Mercy Petition. There are many such cases even today which are pending even after being very old.
Mercy Petition has 5 Powers.
1. Pardoning Power:- Removes both the sentence and the conviction.
2. Commute:- To reduce the type of punishment into a less harsh one. E.G Rigorous Imprisonment to Simple Imprisonment.
3. Remission:- To reduce the Punishment without changing the nature of the punishment. E.G. 20 years rigorous imprisonment to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
4. Respite:- Change the punishment under special circumstances E.G. physical disability /Pregnancy of women.
5. Reprieve:- Execution is delayed for some time usually for a guilty person to prove his innocence.
Do you know that according to the report 2016 of Delhi National Law University, there are 12 women in India who are on death row? Meaning they have been given the death penalty. At the same time, there is no such figure in China that can tell us how many people are hanged there in a year.
To understand it deeply please refer- Death Punishment(What does the hangman say in the prisoner’s ear?