The Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty of a woman and her lover for killing seven members of her family, including a 10-month-old child, in 2008. “Of all crimes that shock the souls of men, none has ever been held in greater abhorrence than parricide, which is by all odds the most complete and terrible inversion, not alone of human nature but of brute instinct,” said a bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu.
Shabnam and Salim wanted to marry but her family was against this alliance. The two drugged her family members and hacked them to death on April 15, 2008, in UP’s Amroha district. While Shabnam drugged them, Salim hacked them to death with an axe. They were sentenced to death by lower courts and the order was upheld by the High Court as well.
The apex court emphasised that a daughter, in present times, plays an indispensable role in the family, especially towards her parents and expressed “shock” that Shabnam, in complicity with her lover, killed her parents.
It noted that both Shabnam and her father were teachers. “Such a deed would be sufficiently appalling where the perpetrator and the victims are uneducated and backward, but it gains a ghastly illumination from the decent, moral upbringing, and elegant respectful living of the educated family where father and daughter are both teachers,” it said. Asserting that the duo did not deserve mercy, the bench said they “wrench the heart of the society where family is an institution of love and trust”.
It heard advocate Dushyant Parashar as amicus curiae in the case but refused his plea to commute the death sentence, considering the duo’s young age. Parashar had also said Shabnam gave birth to a child during her incarceration.