Supreme Court: Considering the review petition seeking to review the death sentence and grant an open hearing to Surendra Koli, the chief accused of the ghastly Nithari Killings, the 3 Judge Bench comprising H.L. Dattu, C.J and A.R. Dave and S.A. Bode, JJ. rejected the petition stating that there is no compelling circumstances that indicate a glaring error apparent on the face of record. The Court also lifted the Stay Order on the execution of his death sentence.
In the instant case the petitioner had been found guilty of brutal rape and murder of several girls and thus had been awarded death sentence by the Allahabad High Court which was upheld by the Supreme Court. However in a recent development the Court in its Order dated 08.09.2014 had stayed execution of the death sentence of the petitioner. Noted senior counsel, Ram Jethmalani appearing for the petitioner put forth the argument before the Court that the present case being exceptional and extraordinary requires Court’s interference by exercising its review jurisdiction. He also contended that had the accused been provided a competent advocate to fight his case during the trial, then the end result would have been different from what it is today.
The Court vehemently rejected the contentions of the counsel for petitioner and observed that a review petition can only be allowed in the presence of an error apparent on record which should also satisfy the Court that such an error would lead to grave injustice. While observing that the District Judges in future should ensure the provision of competent legal assistance to an accused stated that the petitioner’s argument of incompetent legal representation at the trial stage would provide no relief to him at the present stage of proceedings. Surendra Koli v. State of