HC upholds death for couple who killed 7 of family

The Allahabad High Court on Friday upheld the death sentences awarded to a man and woman for killing seven members,including a 10-month-old child,of the woman’s family in Amroha district in 2008.

Written by Express News Service | Allahabad | Published: April 27, 2013 2:46:57 am

The Allahabad High Court on Friday upheld the death sentences awarded to a man and woman for killing seven members,including a 10-month-old child,of the woman’s family in Amroha district in 2008.

The convicts — Saleem and Shabnam — were in love and had wanted to marry. But Shabnam’s family was opposed to it. The duo drugged the entire family and then hacked them to death on April 15,2008.

Those killed were Shaukat Ali (60),his wife Hashmi (55),their son Anees Ahmed Khan (35),his wife Anjum (25),brother Rashid (22),niece Rabia (14) and Anees’s son Arsh (10 months). While six of them were hacked to death,Arsh was throttled.

According to the prosecution,while Shabnam held the drugged victims by their hair,Saleem hacked them to death with an axe. The incident took place in Bawankhera village under Hasanpur police station area of Amroha. Both were convicted and awarded death sentence by a trial court on July 15,2010. They had filed an appeal in the high court.

A division bench of Justices Amar Saran and S C Agarwal said: “We are of the considered opinion that ‘special reasons’ exist for treating this case as one of the ‘rarest of rare’ cases.the only appropriate course would be to confirm the sentence of death awarded by the trial judge.”

Upholding the prosecution’s story,the court said the “diabolical and calculated nature of the crime,which was committed after methodical planning”,was one of the aggravating circumstances,in terms of deciding whether death sentence was justified in this case.

The court also rejected the contentions,forwarded by the defence to commute the death sentences to life imprisonment,saying that Shabnam was under tremendous mental pressure at the time of the incident. Also,the defence argued,that the state has not given any affirmative evidence to prove that there was no possibility of the accused reforming themselves in future.

Further,it was contended that Shabnam’s child,fathered by Saleem,would be rendered orphan if both were executed. Shabnam was six weeks pregnant at the time of the incident. The child was born when she was lodged in jail.

Father restrained from marrying off daughter

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has restrained a father from compelling his major daughter for marriage. The daughter,21,had approached the court seeking a direction against her father on the ground that she wanted to pursue her studies further and was preparing for the civil services examinations.

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