Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court today upheld the death sentence awarded to a young woman and her lover for hacking to death the former`s parents, two brothers and their wives besides strangulating her 10-month-old nephew in Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh.
A Division Bench comprising Justices Amar Saran and S C Agrawal rejected the appeals of Saleem and Shabnam who had challenged the death sentence awarded to them by the Sessions Judge of Jyotiba Phule Nagar (now renamed as Amroha) on July 15, 2010.
Saleem and Shabnam were having an affair and wanted to get married but their relationship had met with stiff opposition from the woman`s family.
On April 15, 2008, Shabnam`s entire family was wiped out and though the woman initially pretended that her house was attacked by unidentified assailants, it came to light during investigation that she had abetted Saleem in the crime as she had made her family members drink milk laced with sedatives prior to the attack and thereafter herself throttled her little nephew.
Rejecting their appeals, the court noted that the appellants had committed the crime in a "cold-blooded and pre-planned manner".
The court also noted that the appellants had "even shown disloyalty to each other" in their statements recorded during the trial wherein they had "tried to shift the burden of the crime on others whilst exonerating themselves".
"All these features indicate the extremely brutal, calculated and diabolical nature of the crime which suggests that there was little likelihood of reform of these accused", the court remarked.
The court also turned down the appellants` plea for leniency on the ground that Shabnam had given birth to a child while in jail who would be orphaned if she and Saleem were executed, saying "death penalty is the only appropriate sentence" in view of the "heinous nature of the crime".