Modifying our orders “would open the floodgates” to the criminals: CJI SA Bobde


Delhi:  The Supreme Court today spoke out against the possibility of sparing death row convicts the capital punishment on grounds of good behaviour, saying that such a move “would open the floodgates” to similar petitions. “We know that the possibility of reformation is an important aspect in sentencing. But it will open the floodgates to such petitions if we start modifying our orders on the basis of how death row convicts behave in jail,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said. The top judge made the observation while reserving his verdict on a petition seeking that the death sentence awarded to a woman and her lover on charges of killing seven of her family members be converted to life imprisonment. The convicts Shabnam and Saleem were found guilty of murdering the seven, including a 10-month-old baby, in Uttar Pradesh’s Almorah over 10 years ago. Observing that the murders were “premeditated and meticulously planned”, Chief Justice Bobde said: “Imagine what the state of the criminal justice system will be like if such people are let off. Ensuring the finality of the death sentence is of utmost importance.”