Shatrugan Chauhan and Anr. Vs Union of India

Case Commentary: Shatrugan Chauhan and Anr. Vs Union of India


The relatives of two death row detainees, Suresh and Ramji, recorded this Writ Petition as per Art 32 of the Indian Constitution. They were condemned to death under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court maintained their death penalties. They then, at that point submitted Mercy Petitions to India’s Governor and President. 

The Governor and the President both dismissed both of these Mercy Petitions. The applicants were not recounted the specialists’ forswearing, and the Mercy Petitions were thought of and chosen following a 12-year stand by. 

Then, at that point, in light of the refusal of the Mercy Petition, the groups of the prisoners documented this Writ Petition, arguing for the court to proclaim the execution of capital punishment illicit and to drive capital punishment. 

The Court checked on the conditions and inferred that the preposterous and extreme postponement of 12 years in doing capital punishment obviously added up to torment, which is a break of Art 21 and in this way qualifies as a reason for sentence compensation. The Court in this manner decreased Suresh and Ramji’s death penalties to life detainment and gave directions on how capital punishment ought to be done.

Brief Facts and Background

Mr. Shatrughan Chauhan and Mr. Mahinder Chauhan have documented a Writ Petition in the interest of Suresh and Ramji Chauhan, relatives of death row detainees. On 19.12.1997, the candidates were indicted under Section 302 IPC of killing five individuals from the principal applicant’s family and were condemned to death.

The Allahabad High Court affirmed their conviction and execution sentence on 23.02.2000, and on 02.03.2001, the Supreme Court dismissed their Criminal Appeal. On 09.03.2001 and 29.04.2001, the first and second solicitors hereunder submitted leniency petitions to the Governor/President of India, individually. On 09.03.2001 and 29.04.2001, the first and second candidates hereunder submitted leniency petitions to the Governor/President of India, individually.

The Supreme Court dismissed the Review Petition submitted on 30.03.2001 on 18.04.2001. Following nine months, the Governor dismissed the benevolence request on 18.12.2001. On 22.01.2002, the State of Uttar Pradesh educated the Government regarding India that the Governor had denied the candidates’ empathy demand.

The candidate and their families were not advised of the forswearing. On 04.05.2001, the State of Uttar Pradesh kept in touch with the District Varanasi Government Advocate mentioning a duplicate of the preliminary court administering. On 04.09.2001, the District Magistrate in Varanasi expressed that no duplicate of the preliminary court administering could be gotten since every one of the papers were stopped with the Supreme Court.

Also, there was an inordinate postponement in sending the preliminary court’s choices to the Government of India, and a year delay in communicating data to the State of Uttar Pradesh with respect to the situation with applicants’ leniency supplication.

At the point when jail experts in the Uttar Pradesh prison mentioned data with respect to remarkable kindness demands, there was a very nearly three-year delay in giving the data. On 08.02.2013, the President denied the solicitations for sympathy.

The candidates have not gotten any proper notice with respect to this to yet and gained of it just from news reports. Subsequently, there is a total postponement of 12 years and 2 months between the documenting of benevolence petitions and informing applicants of the President’s forswearing.

Along these lines, this writ appeal was documented with a request for the issuance of a writ announcing that the President’s dismissal of leniency petitions is unlawful and for saving capital punishment forced on them by decreasing it to life detainment.


  1. Regardless of whether the deferral in execution establishes a penetrate of Art. 21’s overall right to life. 
  2. Regardless of whether the simple deferral in execution would be adequate justification for a capital punishment to be driven.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The chief’s utilization of the established power gave on it by Art 72/161 has encroached the applicants’ fundamental rights. The applicants’ leader orders were given without respect for interceding occasions (delay), which are basic in deciding something very similar.

Exorbitant postponement in completing capital punishment would abuse the right to life ensured by Art 21 and would permit the criminal to look for change under Art 32 of the Constitution. Human existence is holy and ought to be secured no matter what.

Indeed, even without a Presidential Order, if there is an illogical deferral in the execution of a capital punishment, the Court may inspect the convict’s case.

Respondent’s Arguments

The supposed postponement in outfitting the President with the vital records for thought of the Mercy Petition happened on the grounds that these subtleties should be accumulated from the State/Prison specialists, which sets aside time and requires extended correspondence with the jail specialists and State Government.

These reports are then altogether examined and the advantages and disadvantages of each are assessed to show up at a decision, which is a long method. 

The time span needed to analyse kindness petitions fluctuates as indicated by the idea of the case, the expansiveness of the examination, and the quantity of benevolence petitions introduced for the benefit of the blamed.

Moreover, there can’t be a period limitation on the appraisal of benevolence demands. Since Art 72 makes no reference to a period limitation for the air of a Mercy Petition, no such time cut-off can be forced. Workmanship 72 presents optional locale that can’t be denied, revised, changed, or meddled with by any legal arrangement or authority.

Deferral doesn’t consequently entitle an individual carrying out a passing punishment to look for a compensation. (Worldwide Airport Authority v. D Shetty) 

Capital punishment is dispensed on an individual demonstrated blameworthy of a horrendous demonstration through a fair treatment that is appealable and reviewable, and subsequently delay in execution can’t be utilized to legitimize driving the sentence for a particularly awful wrongdoing. Moreover, driving a capital punishment basically based on deferral would be inconvenient to the casualty’s advantages.


The Court said that mercy jurisprudence is a segment of the general public’s creating standard of tolerability and that retribution has no protected premise in our most prominent majority rule vote-based system. Indeed, even a blamed individual appreciates true sacred assurance, and it is the Court’s obligation to safeguard and guard that right.

The Court contemplated powerfully that lopsided, extreme, and irrational deferral in completing a capital punishment definitely likens to torment, which is a break of Art 21 thus qualifies as a reason for sentence recompense.

At last, the Court verified that, without adequate, sensible, and satisfactory legitimizations for the deferral, the twelve-year stand by in assessing the kindness appeal is a huge factor in deciding if capital punishment ought to be driven to life detainment. Subsequently, both Suresh and Ramji have set up a case for their death penalties to be driven to life detainment.

Furthermore, the Court set up rules for the appropriate organization of the method for recording kindness petitions and for the treatment of death row detainees.

They incorporate the accompanying: 

  • 1. Isolation or single life confinement before the President’s dismissal of the benevolence supplication is unlawful and ought not be executed. 
  • 2. Even after the President dismisses the kindness appeal, the convict may request of a writ court for driving of capital punishment or to question the President’s dismissal of the benevolence supplication, and the criminal will be given with lawful guide at all stages. 
  • 3. At the point when the State Government gets or conveys a benevolence request following the Governor’s dismissal, all essential materials, for example, police records, the judgment of the preliminary court, the HC, and the SC, and any remaining related archives ought to be gathered quickly, setting a cut-off time for the specialists to advance something similar to the Ministry of Home Affairs. 
  • 4. The Governor or President’s dismissal of a Mercy Petition will be passed on recorded as a hard copy to the wrongdoer and his family right away. 
  • 5. Demise detainees reserve an option to get a duplicate of the President’s and Governor’s dismissal of the kindness supplication. 
  • 6. A base time frame days should be indicated between the transmission of the Mercy Petition’s dismissal and the planned date of execution. 
  • 7. All death row detainees ought to have routine emotional wellness assessments, and those in need ought to get satisfactory clinical consideration. 
  • 8. Inside seven days, the jail authorities ought to give duplicates of appropriate papers to the detainee to help in setting up a benevolence appeal and requesting of the courts. 
  • 9. Preceding the detainee’s execution, the jail specialists will sort out and grant a last gathering between the detainee and his loved ones. 
  • 10. Obligatory posthumous assessments of death row detainees following their execution.


While driving the applicants’ capital punishments is a fitting end given the solicitors’ 12-year delay, this decision may make a helpless establishment for future cases. Driving a sentence just based on lateness will make a complex legitimate situation. 

Valid, the force gave by Art 72/161 is an optional one held by the President and Governor and can’t be confined by any legal position or force. Notwithstanding, leaving the equivalent unmanaged may bring about complexities.

Consequently, by making the authority undeniable, we may provide reason to feel ambiguous about the way in which these forces are utilized. The Judiciary may without a doubt demand that the Ministry hold fast to its own guidelines, which will altogether diminish the postponement made.

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