LUCKNOW: The murder convict Shabnam, who is facing gallows for hacking seven members of her family to death in 2008, has petitioned UP Governor Anandi Ben Patel for mercy.
Notably, Shabnam’s mercy petition was rejected in 2015 by the then President of India Pranab Mukherjeee. On Thursday, Shabnam’s 12-year-old son Taj had urged President Ram Nath Kovind to forgive her.
As per the sources, two lawyers of Shabnam had met her on Thursday in Rampur Jail. They suggested her to file a fresh mercy petition. Initially, Shabnam was hesitant in moving the plea for mercy and had refused. But the lawyers convinced her to move the appeal to the UP Governor urging her to consider it by virtue of being a woman herself, said the sources.
Rampur Jail Superintendent PD Salonia confirmed that Shabnam’s lawyers had handed over a fresh mercy petition to be sent to the Governor. In fact, Article 161 of the Constitution empowers the Governors of States to grant pardon convicts facing death row.
Shabnam, a native of Amroha district in western UP, had hacked his family members to death in connivance with her lover Salim, a labourer, in 2008. A postgraduate herself, Shabnam was two-months pregnant at that time. She moved to eliminate seven members of her family, including her mother, father, even a 10-month-old nephew, as they were opposed to her relationship with Salim.
She was tried and awarded death by the sessions court of Amroha in 2010 against which she went to High Court which upheld the sentence. Then she moved the Supreme Court, but in vain. Later, Shabnam approached the President with a mercy appeal which was also rejected.
Shabnam could be the first woman to be hanged in Independent India. However, no death warrant has yet been issued and the execution date is yet to be fixed.
Shabnam is likely to be executed at the single female hanging house built in Mathura jail being renovated for the final act.
Pawan Jallad of Meerut, who had executed the convicts of Nirbhaya’s gang rape and murder case, is likely to execute Shabnam's death sentence.