How a murder convict's 'Reformative' poems saved him from death sentence
The Supreme Court converted death penalty of a murder convict into life imprisonment after taking note of the poems he wrote while serving his term in jail.
The poems show that the convict has realised his mistake and has reformed, the court observed.
“From the poems written by him (death row convict) in the jail, it appears that he has realised his mistake which was committed by him at the time when he was of young age and that he is reformative,” a bench of Justice AK Sikri, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah said in its recent judgement.
By changing death sentence to life imprisonment of Dnyaneshwar Suresh Borkar, who was accused of kidnapping and murdering a minor child for ransom, the bench said that it acknowledged the gravity of the offence committed by him but “unable to satisfy ourselves that this case would fall in the category of “rarest of rare case” warranting the death sentence.
The top court also took into consideration that the accused at the time of the commission of the offence was of 22 years, by now, he has spent 18 years in jail and while behind bars, his conduct was good, and he is not a professional killer.
“The accused (Borkar) has tried to join the society and also tried to become a civilized man and has completed his graduation in BA from jail. He has tried to become reformative,” said the bench, adding that he can be reformed and rehabilitated.
The judgement said, “The details show there is a possibility that accused would not commit similar criminal acts. The accused would not be a continuing threat to society. Considering the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the opinion that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the decision of capital punishment is not warranted.”
Senior Advocate Anand Grover, who appeared for the accused, had told the top court that during the span of 18 years in the jail, not only he has learned a lesson but he has realized the mistake committed by him. He has tried to become a civilized person, completed his graduation and has also undergone training of Gandhian thoughts undertaken by Gandhi Research Foundation, Advocate Grover added.
He also submitted that the poems written by the accused in the jail reflect his current mind of state and by which it can be said that he has realized the mistake committed by him at the time when he was just 22 years of age.
The top court was hearing an appeal filed by Borkar against the Bombay High Court's confirmation of his death sentence awarded by the trial court.