DNA Special: As Shabnam’s son seeks mercy, will his appeal be heard?

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‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’. You must have heard this line many times, but in today’s show, you will also wonder if delayed justice can really be considered justice.

In independent India, for the first time after the year 1947, a woman is going to be hanged. This case is of the Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh, where a girl named Shabnam murdered all the 7 people in her family because she wanted to marry her lover and the family was against their marriage.

Shabnam felt that if she removes her family members from the way, then she will get married and will also get possession of the house property.

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But Shabnam was arrested along with her lover after the crime and both of them were sentenced to death by the court of Amroha in 2010.

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Shabnam gave birth to a son in jail in December 2008. Now this story is also about that child. That child wants the law of the country to give life to Shabnam – because she is his mother. The child has also made a touching appeal to the President. Now the question is, whether Shabnam will be hanged or not?

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In April 2008, seven people belonging to the same family of Amroha were killed. A daughter had killed her parents, brother-in-law, sister and an 11-month-old baby. The girl’s name was Shabnam. She did this with her boyfriend Salim. Shabnam was a post-graduate, an educated girl and Salim was 8th pass.

The family did not agree to this relationship. Shabnam also wanted a property for her safe future. So, she gave the family a drink by mixing sleeping pills in tea. When everyone fainted, the two of them killed everyone.

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Shabnam is currently lodged in Rampur Jail and the jail administration has petitioned the district court of Amroha to issue a death warrant for Shabnam’s execution. The matter is scheduled to be heard today in the district court of Amroha.

Will Shabnam be forgiven on the son’s appeal or will the judgment of the law remain intact?

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In December 2008, Shabnam’s child was born in jail. According to the law, the child should be kept with the mother for six years. That’s why he spent 6 years in jail with his mother. He experienced joys and sorrows, saw life in prison and spent his childhood there too. This child is now 13 years old.

After spending six years and seven months, the second chapter of this child’s life started. After 6 years, the child could not stay in jail. But neither her uncle and aunt in Shabnam’s family nor Salim’s family was ready to adopt the child. Husband Usman and wife Vandana came forward for the custody of the child. Usman was Shabnam’s junior in college.

Mathura is the only jail in Uttar Pradesh, where there is a female hanging house. This hanging house was built in 1870 in Mathura jail. But no woman has been hanged in independent India since 1947.

Will Shabnam be forgiven or will she be hanged? It will become clear today. The court of Amroha has a decisive hearing in the case where the decision to issue a death warrant is to be decided.

This news is a great example of how serious the consequences are if justice is delayed. Shabnam and Salim were sentenced to death by the district court of Amroha in 2010 after two years in the 2008 murder case. After that, the case went to the Allahabad High Court and then to the Supreme Court, but the execution of the sentence remained intact. In this case, Shabnam’s mercy petition has been dismissed by the President in 2016. But there are still many legal options left.

India is among the countries in the world where the conviction rate is the lowest. The conviction rate for crimes under the Indian Penal Code is only 40 percent. And surprisingly, the conviction rate is continuously decreasing in India. In the year 2016, the conviction rate in cases of serious crime was 46 percent, which has now come down by about 5 to 6 percent. According to the National Crime Records Bureau or NCRB, in 2016, 5,96,000 people were convicted for serious crimes, while 6,78,000 people were acquitted.

The biggest reason for this is that our justice system works at a much slower pace than the whole world. There are currently more than three and a half crore cases pending in Indian courts.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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