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OVERVIEW

Preparations have started at the Mathura district jail to hang Shabnam Ali who was convicted of killing seven members of her family, by serving them milk laced with sedatives and then slitting her throats.

When she slaughtered her family, she was seven weeks pregnant with her lover's Saleem child. Her family members did not favor her relationship with him, as they came from different caste and their socio-economic backgrounds were also different.

This is the first time a woman will be hanged to death in independent India.

WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND?

In 2010 both Shabnam and Saleem were sentenced to death by the sessions court in Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. Over the course of eleven years, Shabnam pleaded in the Allahabad high court, the president and appealed twice to the Supreme Court.

Her review petition was disregarded by the apex court. Nevertheless, her judicial remedies have not been exhausted yet.

Shailendra Maitrey, Mathura senior jail superintendent informed that even though they have not received any death warrant, they have started preparing and Pawan Jallad, the executioner had inspected the hanging house.

However, legal experts have said that this is not final. This is because Shabnam could still seek another judicial review of the petition in the Supreme Court. A curative petition could also be filed.

Sarthak Chaturvedi, Supreme Court lawyers stated that no one can be hanged before all legal remedies are used up.

LEGAL DECISIONS TILL NOW

The couple was sentenced to death by the trial court in 2010, and this decision was upheld by the apex court in 2015.

Rashtrapati Bhavan rejected their mercy plea.

The SC turned down their review petitions in January 2020. It was held that Saleem had ‘meticulously executed the killing after Shabnam administered sleeping pills'.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and justice S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna had ruled that the murders were done with an intention that no legal heir except Shabnam remains alive, so that property can be grabbed.

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