Review of Death Penalty I

I had declared in December, 2014: “It might be very useful to find more instances such as these – with clever scrutiny of the Judge Compositions – in order to find a pattern of how frequently or infrequently an SC Judge alters or refines his Opinion/Judgment during his tenure. Especially if he has held one under a (Future) Chief Justice. It might very well be indicative.”

When Special Leave Petition [Criminal] No. 458 of 2015 came up for Preliminary Hearing on January 6, 2015 it stood dismissed by Hon’ble Chief Justice Dattu and Hon’ble Judges Sikri and Agrawal with the Order: ‘Delay condoned. Dismissed.’ Circa 2018, Hon’ble Justice Sikri has recalled the January 6, 2015 Order and restored Special Leave Petition [Criminal] No. 458 of 2015. His words: “Special Leave Petition filed in cases where Death Sentence is awarded by the Courts below, should not be dismissed without giving reasons, at least qua Death Sentence. If Death Penalty is to be affirmed even while dismissing the Special Leave Petition in limine, it should be by a Reasoned Order on the aspect of Sentence, at least. In the instant case, since the Special Leave Petition filed by the Review Petitioner was dismissed in limine with one word and without giving any reasons, we allow this Review Petition, Babasaheb Maruti Kamble v. State of Maharashtra, Review Petition [Criminal] No. 388 of 2015.