Updated on: Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 10:44 PM IST

FPJ Legal: Maharashtra govt says it supports death sentence despite delay in execution of sisters who kidnapped 14 children, killed 5

File Photo

File Photo


Considering the gravity of the offense, the Maharashtra government has said that it supports death sentence for the two sisters, Renuka Shinde and Seema Gavit -- who were awarded a death sentence in 2001 for kidnapping 13 children and killing nine of them between 1990 and October 1996 -- despite there being a delay in execution of their death sentence.

Public prosecutor Aruna Pai made the statement on behalf of the government before the Bombay High Court on Wednesday which had asked the state to clarify its stand on the issue.

A division bench of justices Nitin Jamdar and Sarang Kotwal was hearing a review mercy petition filed by the sisters seeking to reduce their death sentence to life imprisonment considering there has been “inordinate delay” in the execution of their death sentence.

Pai said: “We support the death sentence. Considering the gravity of the offence and the fact that they are beyond reformation, we support the judgment (of death sentence).”

The judges had earlier remarked that there has been an “inordinate delay” of over eight years in deciding the mercy petition.

While reserving the review mercy petition filed by two sisters for orders on Saturday, the HC had asked the government to clarify its stand on whether it would exercise its powers and not grant remission (reduction) of sentence in case the sisters' death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment.

To this, Pai had said that in case the court was considering reducing the death sentence to life imprisonment, then it may say “life sentence till natural death” since they have been convicted for a serious offence.

The two sisters from Kolhapur were booked in 1996 for abducting and killing children. They used to force children to beg, commit petty thefts and pick-pocketing. The children were starved and forced to commit crimes. After having sufficiently used the children in crimes, they would bang their heads against the wall and kill them.

In 2001, the sessions court at Kolhapur awarded a death sentence which was upheld by the HC and Supreme Court in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

On August 14, 2014, the President of India rejected their mercy petition against the death sentence.

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Published on: Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 10:44 PM IST