SC rejects review plea of Hoshiarpur boy’s killers
The convicts had kidnapped the victim, son of goldsmith Ravi Verma, on February 14, 2005, and murdered him.punjab Updated: Jul 08, 2017 09:13 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a review petition filed by death row convicts — Vikram Singh, alias Vicky, and Jasbir Singh— for the kidnap and murder of 16-year-old Abhi Verma, aka Harry, a student of Hoshiarpur’s DAV School, in February 2005.
A three-judge bench headed by justice Dipak Misra held that it has not found any “error apparent on the record” in the apex court’s January 25, 2010, verdict by which the death sentence awarded by the trial court and affirmed by the Punjab and Haryana high court was maintained.
The bench, also comprising justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, observed that scope, ambit and parameters of review jurisdiction were well defined, and normally in a criminal proceeding, review applications cannot be entertained except on the ground of error apparent on the face of the record.
“Further, the power given to this court under Article 137 is wider and in an appropriate case can be exercised to mitigate a manifest injustice. By review application, an applicant cannot be allowed to reargue the appeal on the grounds which were urged at the time of the hearing of the criminal appeal,” the bench said.
The convicts had kidnapped the victim, son of goldsmith Ravi Verma, on February 14, 2005, and murdered him. The apex court’s order came on the review petitions filed by the convicts, whose death penalty was upheld by the top court.
Discussing the scope of review jurisdiction, the apex court said: “Even if the applicant succeeds in establishing that there may be another view possible on the conviction or sentence of the accused that is not a sufficient ground for review”.
“This court shall exercise its jurisdiction to review only when a glaring omission or patent mistake has crept in earlier decision due to judicial fallibility. There has to be error apparent on the face of the record leading miscarriage of justice to exercise the review jurisdiction....,” it said.
The convicts had filed pleas for re-opening the review petition on the basis of a judgment passed by a constitution bench of the apex court which had granted liberty to those whose pleas seeking review of verdict confirming death sentence were rejected by circulation but death sentences were not executed.
The trial court had convicted Vikram, Jasvir and his wife Sonia in connection with the case and had awarded them death sentence. The trial court judgment was later confirmed by the high court.
Meanwhile, the apex court passed a judgment in 2010 in which it had dismissed the appeals of Vikram and Jasvir. The top court, however, had converted the death penalty awarded to Sonia into life imprisonment.
Thereafter, both the death row convicts had filed a review petition in the apex court which was dismissed through an order of April 2011 by the two-judge bench which had heard the appeals on the ground of delay as well as on merits.