|Left to Right: Justice Sikri, Justice Nazeer, Justice Shah|
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
SC Finally Corrects The Error: Acquits Six Persons Sentenced To Death By A 2009 Judgment (Maharashtra)
BY: LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK5 March 2019 8:51 AM
The Supreme Court on Monday acquitted three persons who were sentenced to death by it in 2009, and also three others whose death penalty was confirmed by it. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, also ordered the State of Maharashtra to pay Rupees 5 Lakh as damages to each of them Ankush Maruti Shinde, Rajya Appa Shinde, Ambadas Laxman Shinde, Raju Mhasu Shinde, Bapu Appa Shinde and Surya alias Suresh were accused of committing five murders and raping a lady (who survived) and a child of 15 years of age (who died). The Trial Court convicted all of them and sentenced them to death.
In the appeals filed by them, the Bombay High Court set aside death penalty awarded to three of them and instead sentenced them to life imprisonment. While for the remaining three, the death sentence was confirmed.
In February 2014, a bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla admitted the review petitions filed by all the death convicts, accepting the arguments of Senior Advocate Soli Sorabjee that it was decided relying on a wrong precedent- Ravji alias Ram Chandra v. State of Rajasthan [(1996) 2 SCC 175]. It was argued that Ravji's case and the six subsequent cases in which Ravji was followed were decided per incuriam, as the law laid down therein is contrary to the law laid by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Bachan Singh. In October 2018, a three Judge Bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph had recalled the 2009 Judgment and the Appeals were restored. The Bench also gave permission for Accused number 3,5 and 6 for filing appeals.
Source: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/sc-acquits-death-row-convicts-143331 (Accessed 05 March 2019)