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Finality of death sentence extremely important: SC

Finality of death sentence extremely important: SC

NEW DELHI: Observing that the "finality" of death sentence is extremely important, the Supreme Court on Thursday said condemned prisoners should not be under the impression that the death penalty remains "open ended" and can be challenged all the time by them.

In remarks that came against the backdrop of the 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 stressed it has to act as per law and judges also have a duty towards the society and the victims to deliver justice.

The observations were made by a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices S A Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna while 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 judgment upholding the death penalty to the two convicts.

"One cannot go on fighting endlessly for everything," it said.

"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."

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.

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