SC to re-examine judgement to assess Executive's remission powers

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New Delhi, Apr 16 (UNI) The Supreme Court today decided to re-examine its own judgement delivered in 2001, involving a hitman of Dawood Ibrahim gang Subhash Singh Thakur to assess whether a court can take away the powers of the Executive to remit the sentence of a convict under special circumstances.

The judgement was in relation to gangster Thakur being given death sentence by the TADA court in the J J Hospital shootout case in Mumbai, in which two policemen and the crucial witness in a case against the gangster were eliminated when the witness, who himself was an accused in several cases of terrorism, was undergoing treatment.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran, however, refused to review the life sentence which was awarded by the apex court after commuting the death sentence awarded to Thakur.

The apex court, in its 2001 judgement, had also ruled that Thakur would remain in jail till his death.

The gangster was reportedly very close to former Union Minister Kalpanath Rai, who had given him shelter in an NTPC guesthouse, when the latter was Union Power Minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government.

Later Rai had to face trial and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a Delhi court for harbouring the gangster. However, his conviction and sentence were set aside by the apex court.

The apex court, however, agreed to examine the issue whether a court could take away the Executive's powers of remission of sentence in a deserving case.

Interestingly, the apex court had also ruled that Thakur would remain in jail till his death in view of the special circumstances of this case.

The Executive could reduce or remit the sentence of a lifer, if he or she had completed 14 years of imprisonment. The powers had been granted to the Executive under Section 433 and 433 A of the CrPC.

The apex court issued notices to the State of Maharashtra on the petition filed by Thakur.

UNI SC SBC KN1630

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