Press Esc to close
Thursday 31 July 2014
News updated at 2:43 AM IST
Weather
Max: 28.4°C
Min : 20°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

15 convicts on death row get SC reprieve

Ashish Tripathi, NEW DELHI, Jan 21, 2014, DHNS:

Veerappan aides, Bhullar to benefit

The Supreme Court on Tuesday converted the death penalty awarded to 15 convicts to life term for the unreasonable  delay in the disposal of mercy petitions by the President or governors. DH photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday converted the death penalty awarded to 15 convicts to life term by holding that unreasonable delay in the disposal of mercy petitions by the President or governors could be a ground to commute death sentence.

A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice P Sathasivam also laid down guidelines to “safeguard” the interests of death row convicts in view of disparities in different state prison manuals and the procedure adopted to deal with mercy petitions.

The 12 points listed out by the court mandated the authorities, among others, to give a minimum 14-day notice before execution, mental health evaluation, final meeting with families and post mortem of the convicts after hanging.


The bench held that the ground of unexplained delay for commutation of death sentence would be available to all convicts, including those facing terror charges.

The 156-page verdict comes as a relief to Khalistan sympathiser D P S Bhullar, whose mercy petition was rejected by the apex court on the grounds of grave terror charges against him.

Bhullar had petitioned the court on the point of delay in disposal of mercy petition and his poor mental health.

Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins V Sriharan alias Murugan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan and A G Perarivalan alias Arivu, whose separate petitions will be taken up by the apex court later this month, may also get the benefit of the judgment.

While dealing with 13 separate petitions, the bench said, “We are of the cogent view that undue, inordinate and unreasonable delay in execution of death sentence does certainly attribute to torture which indeed is in violation of Article 21 (Right to life and liberty) and thereby entails as the ground for commutation of sentence.”

However, the bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh, said that the nature of delay–undue or unreasonable–must be appreciated on the facts of each individual case and no exhaustive guidelines can be framed in this regard.

The judgment comes as a fresh lease of life to seven convicts from Karnataka. Four among them are forest brigand Veerappan’s associates Bilavendran, Simon, Gnanprakasam and Madiah, rape-cum-murder convicts Shivu and Jadeswamy, and one Praveen Kumar.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Villagers console each other as they watch a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Malin...

Villagers console each other as they watch a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Malin...

Barack Obama smiles as he talks about the economy at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City...

Barack Obama smiles as he talks about the economy at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City...

Rescue workers clear the debris at the site of a landslide in Malin village...

Rescue workers clear the debris at the site of a landslide in Malin village...

Palestinian man reacts next to the body of his relative...

Palestinian man reacts next to the body of his relative...

Palestinian boy comforts his father, whom medics said was wounded by Israeli shelling in Shejaia...

Palestinian boy comforts his father, whom medics said was wounded by Israeli shelling in Shejaia...

England's Whitlock competes in men's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics at 2014 Commonwealth Games...

England's Whitlock competes in men's All-Around Artistic Gymnastics at 2014 Commonwealth Games...

England's Stuart Broad celebrates with his teammates after running out India's Murali Vijay...

England's Stuart Broad celebrates with his teammates after running out India's Murali Vijay...

The debris of a hillock after a landslide triggered by heavy rains at Malin village in Pune ...

The debris of a hillock after a landslide triggered by heavy rains at Malin village in Pune ...

Siddaramaiah at the launch of a drinking water unit in Vidhan Soudha premises in Bengaluru ...

Siddaramaiah at the launch of a drinking water unit in Vidhan Soudha premises in Bengaluru ...

Over forty houses were buried in a landslide triggered by heavy rains at Malin village in Pune ...

Over forty houses were buried in a landslide triggered by heavy rains at Malin village in Pune ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523