SC slams UP Governor, disapproves freeing Political murders convict

New Delhi: The apex court on Monday has disapproved premature release of Gorakhpur Murder Convict approved by UP Governor Ram Naik.

The bench headed by Justices NV Ramana and MM Shantanagoudar said such decisions “shock the conscience of the court” and compel the bench to overturn the decision taken by the Governor.

“How can such convicts be released prematurely? He was given life term but he has served only seven years in jail. We are bound to intervene when cases shock the conscience of this court. We have to exercise our powers,” the bench said.

The bench also expressed surprise over Governor’s decision where he exercised his constitutional power vested with him to free a prisoner who has been convicted for four murders and also has serious criminal antecedents.

While dismissing the plea filed by Markandey Shahi, the court expressed surprise that the Governor had exercised his constitutional power to free a person who has been convicted for four murders and has serious criminal antecedents.

“Not just this, he has been granted pardon while the appeal against his conviction was already pending before the High Court. We don’t know why should this be done? We don’t want to say anything more,” added the bench.

The top court dismissed the plea filed by convict Markandey Shahi.

“When this man was out on bail, he indulged in four other criminal cases. Out of life sentence, he has served only seven years. How can such a man be released premature. We will rather grant leave in this case so that this appeal will come after 10 years and you will remain behind the bars till then,” retorted the bench.

When senior lawyer appearing for convict said his client was suffering from various ailments, the bench responded with: “What is he suffering from? Back pain? Let him be in jail and they will give him all the treatment required. We don’t want to say more because that will impact your pending appeal as well.”

Shahi was convicted in Gorakhpur case by the trial court in 2009 and has committed over a dozen murders in 1987 over political rivalry when Purvanchal was in the grip of musclemen politicians Harishankar Tiwari and Virendra Pratap Shahi, News18 reports.

The governor’s order was challenged by Mahant Shankersan Ramanuj Dass in the Allahabad High Court.

Dass claimed that Yogi government is favouring Shahi which enabled the Governor to order his premature release.

The Uttar Pradesh government too defended Governor’s action and said it exercising his constitutional power was valid is supported by the government.