Review of Death Penalty IX

Jagdish murdered his wife and children; one wife and five children, to be precise [20.08.2005]. Trial Court – Death Sentence [24.04.2006]; High Court – Death Sentence [27.06.2006]; Supreme Court – Death Sentence [18.09.2009]; President – Death Sentence [16.07.2014]. It was argued that Jagdish has been incarcerated for almost 14 Years and Death Sentence would mean Life Imprisonment + Death Sentence. Mercy Petitions are always the last hope for those on Death Row. There was indeed a delay in deciding Jagdish’s Mercy Petition. Death Sentences are to be executed with speed; as early as possible.

Keeping in view all the circumstances of the case, including the un-­explained delay of 4 Years in forwarding the Mercy Petition by State of Madhya Pradesh leading to delay of almost 5 Years in deciding the Mercy Petition and the fact that Jagdish has been incarcerated for almost 14 Years, we are of view that regardless of the brutal nature of crime this is not a fit case where Death Sentence should be executed and we, accordingly commute the Death Sentence to that of Life. However, keeping in view the nature of crime, we direct that Life Imprisonment in this case shall mean the entire remaining life and Jagdish shall not be released till his death.”

Hon’ble Justice Deepak Gupta, Jagdish v. State of Madhya Pradesh, [Review Petition (Criminal) No. 591 of 2014].