SC Upholds Allahabad HC Order Setting Aside Premature Release Of Murder Convict By UP Governor Ram Naik [Read Order]
“We are unable to comprehend what prompted the Hon’ble Governor to exercise indulgence in his favour despite him being a hard-core criminal which is reflected from the nature of offence he has committed?” Allahabad HC Had Observed.
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a Special Leave Petition filed against Allahabad High Court order that set aside Governor Ram Naik’s order prematurely releasing a murder convict who had hardly completed less than 8 years’ incarceration.
The bench of Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, while dismissing the SLP filed by murder accused- Markendey @ Ashok Sahi in limine, reportedly remarked that such cases "shock the conscience of the court”.
The trial court had convicted Markendey holding him guilty of the murder of four persons due to political rivalry. He was awarded life imprisonment under Sections 302/149, 147, 142, 148 and 379 IPC.
The Uttar Pradesh Governor, in the exercise of powers under Article 161 of the Constitution of India had remitted remaining sentence of the accused even though the convict had only completed 8 years in jail.
While allowing the writ petition filed by Mahant Shankersan Ramanuj Dass, who is son of one of the deceased, the high court had observed: “We do not find the reasons mentioned by Hon'ble Governor for releasing the convict prematurely even though he had hardly completed less than 8 years’ incarceration although he was punished with life imprisonment and normally premature release in a case of convict who is undergoing life imprisonment, some compelling reasons ought to be mentioned while releasing him prematurely. The reference of the convict suffering from some ailment has been made casually but no authentic medical report also appears to have been placed for consideration before the Hon’ble Governor. The sole ailment which he has alleged to suffer from is hip fracture which does not appear to be a very serious ailment although he claims to have suffered 60% disability due to that.”
While setting aside the Governor’s order, the high court had also observed: “We are unable to comprehend what prompted the Hon’ble Governor to exercise indulgence in his favour despite him being a hard-core criminal which is reflected from the nature of offence he has committed?”
Taking note of the fact that appeal is pending against the conviction judgment, the high court had observed that the order issued by the Governor does not reflect the application of mind and that the Governor has transgressed his jurisdiction in exercising the power under Article 161 of the Constitution of India.