Death row convict Shabnam files fresh mercy petition

Death row convict Shabnam, who was awarded the death sentence for killing seven members of her family in April 2008, has sent a fresh mercy petition to Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

According to Anand Kumar, Director General (prison department and reform services), Shabnam had also approached the Uttar Pradesh Governor earlier for pardon, but Patel had rejected her petition.

“A copy of mercy appeal to the UP governor by death-row convict prisoner Shabnam through her lawyer regarding Supreme Court order dated May 25, 2015, was made available to our office to be forwarded,” said Rampur jail superintendent.

Sources said that two lawyers had met Shabnam in Rampur jail on Friday and convinced her to send a mercy petition to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.

Confirming that a second mercy petition has been sent to the Governor and the President of India, Shabnam’s lawyer Shreya Rastogi, in a press release, claimed that ‘news reports should correct the factual and legal positions regarding the remaining remedies available to Shabnam.’

She said in the release, “Shabnam has several constitutional remedies that remain to be exercised. These include the right to challenge the rejection of her mercy petition before the Allahabad HC and the Supreme Court on various grounds. She also has the right to file a curative petition in the SC.”

The development comes a day after 12-year-old son of Shabnam Ali appealed to the President of India on social media to consider his mother’s mercy plea again.

“President uncle ji, please forgive my mother Shabnam,” read a placard that he was seen holding in a viral video.

Shabnam, now 38, has been convicted for killing seven members of her family — her mother, father, two brothers, sister-in-law, cousin and 10-month-old nephew — after they opposed her relationship with Salim, also a resident of the same Amroha village.

The two slit the throats of all the seven persons after serving them sedative-spiked milk. Shabnam was pregnant at that time.