The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking reopening of the review pleas filed by two death-row convicts from Punjab who were found guilty of kidnapping and killing a schoolboy in 2005.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra held that it had not found any “error apparent on the record” in the apex court’s January 25, 2010, verdict by which the death sentence awarded by the trial court to Vikram Walia and Jasvir Singh and affirmed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court was maintained.
The bench, which also included Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, said the scope, ambit and parameters of review jurisdiction were well defined and normally in a criminal proceeding, review applications cannot be entertained except on the ground of error apparent on the face of the record.
“Even if the applicant succeeds in establishing that there may be another view possible on the conviction or sentence of the accused, that is not a sufficient ground for review,” the order read.
In February 2005, Walia, Singh and his wife Sonia had kidnapped Abhi Verma, the 16-year-old son of goldsmith Ravi Verma when the Class IX boy was on his way to school in Hoshiarpur, Punjab.
The trio demanded a ransom of Rs 50 lakh to release him. They administered anaesthesia on the boy, an overdose of which led to his death. Sonia was Abhi’s tutor and Walia knew Ravi well.
President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected their mercy petitions in August last year.