Man’s poetry saves him from death sentence

Man’s poetry saves him from death sentence

Who says poetry isn’t useful?

Poems written by a condemned man became a reason for the Supreme Court to spare him from the gallows.

Dyaneshwar Suresh Borkar’s poems that he wrote during the 18 years of his incarceration became a mirror to his reformed soul, the Supreme Court found, according to local news reports.

In a progressive judgment, a Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri, S. Abdul Nazeer and M.R. Shah overturned a Bombay High Court verdict confirming the man’s death sentence for the murder of a child.

Justice Shah, who wrote the judgment for the Bench, found that the crime was committed when Borkar was 22 years old. He has used his years in prison to “reflect on his actions and learn from his mistakes.”

As a young man, Borkar was an “impressionable citizen trying to make something out of himself and in the process lost his way and made a fatal mistake.”

If there is anything his years in prison have shown, it is that he is by no means a hardened criminal and most definitely not beyond the pale of reformation, Justice Shah said.

The apex court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment, saying that the case was not the “rarest of rare” warranting the death penalty.


Besides writing poems, the court found that Borkar has tried to “become a civilised man.” He completed his graduation and underwent training in Gandhian thought from the Gandhi Research Foundation.

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“He can be reformed and rehabilitated,” Justice Shah observed in his order.

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