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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
S.L.P. (CRIMINAL) NO..............OF 2011
STATE OF U.P. Petitioner(s)
ALOK VERMA Respondent(s)
O R D E R
Heard Mr. Pramod Swarup, learned senior counsel
appearing for the petitioner-State of U.P.
The allegations against the respondent accused,
which have been found true by the courts below, are
that the respondent murdered his wife and four children
(three sons and one daughter) and caused injuries to
another daughter with knife and axe taking the help of
a hired person. This is because his wife protested
against his indulgence in gambling, taking liquor and
crimes like kidnapping. He had earlier to undergo
imprisonment for one year in a case of kidnapping. His
wife tried to persuade him not to commit these illegal
acts and get reformed, but instead he would often beat
her, and ultimately he committed these ghastly and
brutal crimes of murdering his wife and four children,
who are aged about 10, 8, 5 and 2 years respectively.
The surviving daughter Priyanka is an eye witness and
that apart there is convincing circumstantial evidence
also on the basis of which the respondent has been
convicted by the courts below.
The injuries on the deceased Shikha, wife of the
accused-respondent are as follows :-
1. Multiple incised wounds over face and
forehead size 1 cm x 0.5 cm to 3 cm x 0.5 cm
2. Incised wound 4 cm x 1 cm trachea deep on
front of neck below hyoid bone. On
dissection the underlying large vessels,
tracheas and nerves were cut.
3. Incised wound 4 cm x 1 cm size muscle deep on
back of root of neck.
4. Incised wound 4 cm x .5 cm muscle deep on top
of (Rt.) shoulder.
5. Incised wound of 3 cm x 0.5 cm muscle deep on
back of and middle of (Rt.) upper arm.
The injuries on the deceased Chhoutey, aged about
5 years, son of the accused respondent are as follows:-
1. Incised wound of 3 cm x 1 cm size skull deep till
upper cavity of skull. This wound was 2 cm above
the right eyebrow on the right side of the skull.
Skull bone was broken. Thereafter, it was found
that brain and brain membrane was also cut and
blood mix fluid was present in the cavity of
2. Incised wound 3 cm x 1 cm size bone deep which was
above the right eye brow on the right side of the
3. Incised wound 2 cm x 1 cm size just above the
injury No 2.
4. Incised wound 2 cm x 1 cm size muscle deep in the
middle of the front of the neck.
5. Contusion 8 cm x 6 cm size upon the skull.
The injuries on Rahul, aged about 10 years, son of the
deceased and the accused respondent, are as follows :-
1. Contusion of 8 cm x 3 cm size on the front of the
2. Incised wound 5 cm x 1 cm breathing duct deep in
the front of the neck. This injury was very close
to the injury No.1 On dissection, blood vessels,
nerves, muscles and breathing duct etc. were found
to be cut.
3. Incised wound 4 cm x 1 cm skull deep. This injury
was 3 cm above the left eye, on the left side of
the skull bone of skull, brain and brain membrane
were found to be cut. Blood mix fluid was found to
present in the cavity of skull.
4. Incised wound 3 cm x 1 cm muscle deep 12 cm above
the middle of forehead in the front of skull.
5. Incised wound 2.5 cm x 1 cm muscle deep behind the
The injuries on Uttam Kumar, aged about 8 years,
son of the deceased and the accused respondent are as
1. Incised wound 3 cm x 1 cm bone deep in the upper
part of the body.
2. Incised wound 3 cm x 1 cm x deep bone in the
middle of the forehead.
3. Incised wound 2 cm x 1 cm x skull deep outside the
left eye on the left side of the face. The bone,
muscle, blood vessels, brain and brain membrane
were found to be cut. The fluid with blood was
filled in cavity of brain.
4. Incised wound 3 cm x 1 cm bone deep, this wound
was close to the outer sides of the right eye.
5. Incised wound 2.5 cm x 1 cm x breathing duct deep
on the front of the neck.
6. 12 cm x 3 cm size wound till nose contusion on the
The injuries on Kumari Anjali, aged about 2 years,
daughter of the deceased and accused respondent, are as
1. 4 cm x 1.5 cm incised wound x deep till cavity of
skull, 4 cm above the right eye brow on the right
side of the skull. Under the injury, bone, brain
and brain membrane under the injury were found to be
cut. Blood mixed fluid was found in the cavity of
2. 2 cm x 1 cm incised wound deep till cavity of skull
above the left eyebrow on the left side of forehead.
Under the injury, bone, brain and brain membrane
were found to be cut.
3. Incised wound 2 cm x 0.5 cm muscle deep below the
4. 2 cm x 0.5 muscle deep incised wound on the level of
the thyroid cartilage in the front of the neck.
Apart from the deceased, the injuries on the injured
eye witness Priyanka, who was aged about six years when
the incident took place, are as follows :-
1. Towards right on the face in the front of the ear
contusion with red colour 6 cm x 45 cm.
2. On right eye and lower eyelid contusion 4.5 cm x 4
3. Towards left on the face, below the eye contusion
with red colour 2 cm x 1.0 cm.
4. Right ear was bleeding and blood clot was present.
These injuries show the brutal manner in which the
deceased were killed, and injuries caused to Priyanka.
Apparently the throats of the deceased were cut with a
knife and their heads smashed with an axe.
It has come in evidence that the accused had taken
a house on rent and his wife Shikha (deceased) along
with her children were living in that house. On
07.07.2005 when the brother of Shikha (the complainant)
came to the said house he found the door closed. He
opened the door and found the dead bodies and also his
injured niece Priyanka who told him about the incident.
A blood stained axe was found in the room, while
the knife which was also used in committing these
horrible crimes had been concealed by the accused. The
shirt of the accused was blood stained. The accused
took the police to the sand where he had concealed a
polythene bag containing the knife which was used which
was blood stained, and some other items, including the
blood stained shirt.
We cannot imagine a more ghastly act and, we are,
prima facie, of the opinion that this falls in
the category of rarest of rare cases in which death
sentence should have been given. The trial court, no
doubt, awarded death sentence to the respondent, but
the High Court reduced it to life sentence by
"...But on the other side, it is to be
considered as to what were the circumstances
under which the said murders were caused.
Accused Alok Verma was postgraduate in
Sociology, having failed in getting a job. It
seems that due to financial crisis, he entered
into the criminal world, due to which he had to
go to jail. He had been away from his wife and
children for a long time, and in these
circumstances, he became pessimistic and began
to suspect his wife's character. Advice of his
wife to stay away from criminal activities he
could not accept. In absence of alternative, in
such circumstances, his wife's threat to
disclose all of his wrong acts made the
situation worse and resulted in occurrence of
the incident which does not appear to be
committed under any preplan nor for any benefit,
but has been caused due to hopelessness and
doubts about the character of the wife wherein
he was doubting that the children were not his.
In the above circumstances considering the
decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Prakash
Dhawal Khairnath (Patil) Vs. State of
Maharashtra and State of Maharashtra Vs.
Sandeep @ Babloo Prasad Khairnath (Patil) 2002
Supreme Court Cases (Criminal) 281 the
conclusion arrived is that the present case is
not fit for death penalty."
Prima facie, we find the reasoning of the High Court
to be strange. Merely because a person is in financial
crisis does not mean that he is at liberty to commit
ghastly and gruesome murders. It appears that the wife
of the accused was of a noble character who tried to
reform him, but the accused rather than being reformed
committed these monstrous crimes. We fail to understand
how the High Court could reduce the death sentence in
The celebrated Judge of the Allahabad High Court
Justice Mehmood quoted the following Urdu couplet in one
of his judgments while deciding a murder appeal :-
"Jo Chup Rahegi Zuban-e-khanjar,
Lahu pukarega asteen ka"
Issue notice to the respondent as to why the life
sentence awarded to him by the High Court should not be
enhanced to death sentence.
Issue notice also on the application for
condonation of delay.
NEW DELHI; ................................J.
SEPTEMBER 02, 2011 (CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD)