High Court stays death warrant issued to rape convict

Representative image.

The Madras High Court has granted an interim stay on the death warrant issued to a man convicted for kidnapping and murdering minor siblings in Coimbatore by a Mahila Court. The court has also granted Manoharan, the convict, six weeks’ time to file a mercy petition with Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

The move by the Madras High Court comes even as the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty by a majority judgment earlier this month. A division bench of justices M M Sundresh and R M T Teekaa Raman granted the stay on a writ petition filed by Manoharan, seeking a stay on the death warrant issued to him.

In his petition, the convict mentioned that the court had fixed December 2 as the date for execution of death sentence, while contending that he had the right to file a mercy plea before the Governor. His counsel had contended that grave injustice would be caused to Manoharan if he is executed without allowing him sufficient time to file a mercy plea.

Death row convicts have the right to file a mercy petition before the Governor and they can be executed only when they exhaust all options available in the law.

Manoharan was convicted for kidnapped the siblings – a 10-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother – in October 2010 in Coimbatore. He was also convicted for raping the girl before drowning both of them in the Parambikulam Aliyar Project canal.

His aide, Mohanakrishnan, who was also his partner in crime, was shot dead by the police in November 10, 2010, after he allegedly tried to attack the police while he was being taken to the crime scene.

The Coimbatore Mahila Court found Manoharan guilty of both the murders. Both the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court had upheld the order.

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