We are astound to learn that the Supreme Court has rejected the review petition of Surinder Koli today, finding no error that could have persuaded them to review the earlier order of the court. In fact, the case was riddled with errors. It is a case that rests on confession alone, with little evidence pointing to Koli’s guilt. Indeed, the 164 CrPc statement which has become the basis of Koli’s conviction is clearly tutored and obtained under torture. It is a clear violation of established jurisprudence of evidentiary rules, which disallow the admission of confessions etrcated through torture as evidence.
Will not the hanging of Koli be tantamount to the judicial acceptance of torture confessions.
The apex court’s response to the issue of poor legal aid provided to Koli – that robbed him of his right to proper legal defence – was simply the bland assertion that it would ensure that in future accused in other cases are provided assistance by experts who can devote time. Is this not absolute travesty of justice that a man who has been poorly represented has been condemned to death? Should not have the Supreme Court stepped in to ensure that the Constitutions’ most cherished value enshrined in Article 21, the Right to life, is upheld.
It is impossible to fathom the reasons for sustaining the death sentence despite the knowledge that Koli was deprived of his right to fair trial. How does the Supreme Court’s promise of improved legal aid services in future result in justice for Koli?
Finally, the question of Koli’s mental health. If, as the CBI has argued, that Koli’s confession is voluntary and true, then anyone can see that Koli is in urgent requirement of psychiatric care. What sort of a society are we that we send our sick and mentally ill to the gallows?
Released by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
28th October 2014.