Court upholds life term, recommends mercy

Staff Reporter

Appeal by illiterate woman convicted of murdering her baby girl dismissed

Delhi High Court requests Government to look into commuting the woman's sentence

‘Take into consideration the social compulsions under which she committed the crime'

NEW DELHI: Dismissing an appeal by an illiterate and indigent woman against her conviction for murder of her baby girl immediately after birth at Lady Hardinge Medical College Hospital here, the Delhi High Court has requested the Delhi Government to consider commuting her sentence or granting her pardon keeping in view her background and social compulsions under which she committed the crime.

The trial court had sentenced the woman to life imprisonment.

Dismissing the appeal, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Suresh Kait said: “We direct the Registrar of this Court to send a copy of this decision to the Secretary, Law and Justice, of the Delhi Government to place a copy of it before an appropriate authority drawing attention to the facts of the instant case.''

The Bench asked the Government whether appropriate rules required to be made to deal with such cases. It further said that if the Government framed the rules it should place the matter before a competent authority to decide whether she (the woman) could be pardoned.

If such a decision was taken, the authority would take into consideration that the appellant is an illiterate lady and comes from a poor socio-economic background, the Bench said. Her thinking and rationale could not develop as is expected in a democratic society as she had no education, the Bench further said.