While words on social media often land people in trouble, a convict’s poems written while in prison saved his life.

Dhyaneshwar Suresh Borkar was convicted for killing a child in Pune. He was 22 at the time. Sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court, Borkar appealed to the Supreme Court in 2006 challenging the verdict.

On Thursday, 28 February, the Supreme Court commuted his death sentence to life in prison.

A three-judge bench of Justices AK Sikri, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah ruled that the Borkar had already spent 18 years in jail during which he tried to become a civilised man to be able to join the society.

The apex court particularly mentioned that the poems Borkar wrote in jail indicated that he felt remorse.

“From the poems, written by him in the jail, it appears that he has realised his mistake which was committed by him at the time when he was of young age and that he is reformative,” the bench said.

Borkar’s counsel told the court that he has completed his graduation in Bachelor of Arts (BA) and has also undergone training of Gandhian thoughts undertaken by Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon.

“We have considered each of the circumstance and the crime as well as the facts leading to the commission of the crime by the accused. Though, we acknowledge the gravity of the offence, we are unable to satisfy ourselves that this case would fall in the category of ‘rarest of rare case’ warranting the death sentence,” the court observed in its order.