Why not death? Telangana High Court to Samatha convicts

Deccan Chronicle.  | Vujjini Vamshidhara

Nation, Current Affairs

Telangana High Court vets death sentence awarded by fast track court.

Telangana High Court

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday issued notices to convicts of the Samatha gang rape-cum-murder case, asking them to explain their contention against death punishment awarded to them by the special fast track court in Adilabad.

The High Court was dealing with the referred trial case filed by the state government for confirmation of death sentence given to the three accused convicts – Shaik Babu, Shaik Shaboddin and Shaik Mukhdum. The court adjourned the case to March 24 for further hearing, before which the convicts should file their contentions before the High Court.

Adilabad district jud-ge M.G. Priyadarshini  who was in-charge judge of the designated special court, had pronounced the verdict on January 30, awarding capital punishment to the three in connection with the Samatha gang-rape and murder case. They were sentenced to death by hanging. The case was disposed of in record 67 days.

Before the death sentence is executed, confirmation by High Court is necessary as per provisions of Section 366 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It says when a sessions court passes a death sentence, the proceedings must be submitted to the High Court. The sentence cannot be executed unless it is confirmed by the High Court. The sessions’ court must commit the convicted person to jail custody under a warrant.

The High Court needs to satisfy itself both in terms of law as well as facts of the case before confirming the death sentence. In other words, the High Court must come to its own independent conclusion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, independently of the opinion of the judge who has pronounced the death penalty.

The High Court may confirm the sentence or pass any other sentence warranted by law, or may annul the conviction and convict the accused under any offence the court of session might have convicted the accused, or order a new trial on the same on an amended charge, or may acquit the accused person or persons based on the inquiry it conducts.

This is provided that no order of confirmation is issued under this section until the period allowed for preferring an appeal has expired, or, if an appeal is presented within such period, till the time the appeal is disposed of.