TBEN Special: As Shabnam’s son seeks mercy, will his call be heard?

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“Justice delayed is justice denied”. You must have heard this phrase a number of times, but on today’s show you will also wonder if justice delayed can really be considered justice.

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

Shabnam felt that if she abducts her family members, she will marry and take possession of the house as well.

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

Shabnam gave birth to a son in prison in December 2008. Now this story is also about this child. This child wants the law of the land to bring Shabnam to life – because she is his mother. The child 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 girl had killed her parents, her brother-in-law, her sister and an 11 month old baby. The girl’s name was Shabnam. She did this with her boyfriend Salim. Shabnam was a postgraduate, educated girl, and Salim was 8th.

The family did not accept this relationship. Shabnam also wanted a property for his secure future. So she gave the family a drink by mixing sleeping pills in tea. When everyone passed out, the two killed everyone.

Shabnam is currently being held in Rampur Prison and the prison administration has requested the Amroha District Court to issue a death warrant for Shabnam’s execution. The case is scheduled to be heard today in Amroha District Court.

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

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

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After passing six years and seven months, the second chapter of this child’s life has begun. After 6 years, the child could not stay in prison. But neither his uncle and aunt in Shabnam’s family nor Salim’s family were ready to adopt the child. Husband Usman and wife Vandana have come forward for custody of the child. Usman was Shabnam’s junior in college.

Mathura is the only prison in Uttar Pradesh where there is a Hanging House for women. This hanging house was built in 1870 in Mathura prison. But no woman has been hanged in independent India since 1947.

Shabnam will she be forgiven or will she be hanged? It will become clear today. Amroha Court has a decisive hearing in the event that the decision to issue a death warrant has to be made.

This news is a prime example of the gravity of the consequences if justice is delayed. Shabnam and Salim were sentenced to death by the Amroha District Court in 2010 after two years in the 2008 murder case. After that, the case was taken to the Allahabad High Court and then to the Supreme Court, but the execution of the sentence remained intact. In this case, Shabnam’s petition for mercy was rejected by the president in 2016. But there are still many legal options.

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India is among the countries with the lowest conviction rate in the world. The conviction rate for crimes under the Indian Penal Code is only 40%. And surprisingly, the conviction rate is continuously decreasing in India. In 2016, the conviction rate in serious crime cases was 46%, which has now fallen by about 5% to 6%. According to the National Crime Records Bureau or NCRB, in 2016, 5.96,000 people were convicted of serious crimes, while 6.78,000 people were acquitted.

The main reason is that our justice system operates at a much slower pace than the rest of the world. There are currently more than three and a half crores of cases pending in Indian courts.

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