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Updated: February 21, 2013 01:05 IST

Execution of Veerappan aides stayed for 6 weeks

J. Venkatesan
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Hanging of four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan has been further delayed with the Supreme Court on Wednesday extending its interim order staying the execution of death sentence imposed on them. File photo
The Hindu
Hanging of four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan has been further delayed with the Supreme Court on Wednesday extending its interim order staying the execution of death sentence imposed on them. File photo

We three judges will await Singhvi Bench decision, says CJI Altamas Kabir

The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the stay on the execution of four associates of the slain forest brigand, Veerappan, who were convicted of killing 22 persons in a landmine blast in 1993 and whose mercy petitions were rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Anil R. Dave and Vikramajit Sen extended the stay granted on a writ petition filed by advocate Shamik Narain and the convicts — Simon, Gnanaprakash, Madaiah and Bilavendran — seeking that their death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

Earlier, the Chief Justice told senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioners, that since another Bench, headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi, had reserved orders in the cases involving Bhullar and other death-row convicts, the three-member Bench would await its judgment before taking up the matter. In the alternative, it would have to send the petition to the same Bench. But being a three-judge Bench, the CJI said, “we would like to await… the two-judge Bench’s judgment.” The “proper course of action” would be to adjourn the matter until then. The case was adjourned for six weeks. The CJI-led Bench also issued notice to the Central and Karnataka governments.

In his submissions, Additional Solicitor-General Harin Raval said the Justice Singhvi-led Bench had called for records of all cases, in which mercy petitions were pending or disposed of, and reserved judgment on April 19, 2012.

In their petition, the convicts, who have been lodged in the Hindalga Central Jail in Belgaum since 2004, said they were now aged between 50 and 64. They filed mercy petitions on February 12, 2004, after the Supreme Court had upheld their conviction by a TADA court in Mysore in 2001 and enhanced the punishment to death. Their mercy petitions had been pending for nine years, during which period they suffered excruciating agony and uncertainty. “They underwent a lingering death under the shadow of the hangman’s noose, expecting to be executed at any moment. Along with them, their families experienced extreme anguish.”

The petitioners said: “They have become mentally and physically debilitated.”

On February 12 this year, they were informed by prison authorities that their mercy petitions were rejected by the President. “They have been in jail… since 14.7.2003, a large part of which was spent in single-cell confinement. In view of the undue delay in the execution of the death sentence and adjudication of the mercy petitions, they have approached this court for an appropriate writ prohibiting the execution of the sentence of death and for alteration of the sentence to… life imprisonment.”

Personally, I think these men deserve to hang, but why don't we ask the family members of the 22 slain policemen, what they feel. If they are willing to pardon them then no one should have a problem.

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 at 09:34 IST

The indecision on the mercy petitions by our previous presidents is the reason for this unnecessary situation.

from:  Raghunarayan.M
Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 at 09:07 IST

There are several comments on this article that agonize over the fact that Afzal was denied
the same liberty, but they have been worded in such a way they sound as if these 4 have
earned something unfair. That is not the case as it is the right of any accused to exhaust all
legal provisions. If anything we need to condemn Afzal being denied this opportunity.
Secondly, after the SC judgment Afzal has been jailed for less than 7 years and hence his
judgment could have been different to that of Bhullar, Rajiv gandhi assassins or these 4.
Thirdly, these 4 have been jail for past 20 years incl the trial period. There was no direct
evidence to convict them and they were only awarded life in TADA court

from:  S. Sivakumar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 at 08:16 IST

Theduty of state is to ensure that right of Citizen to live with dignity is not taken away by anyone. If knowingly or unknowingly , state becomes a party to this, they have no right to take way someone’s life. So, I support hanging of kasab but not of Afzal Guru .Because ,there is history of state being party to misgovernance in Kashmir . Since Afzal guru has taken someone’s life and participated in an action which would have resulted in Situation causing unimagined consequences, punishment of life term would have been just.This will remind both the state to correct itself and aggrieved (convicted )people to find ways Of redressing their grievances ances and ensure that there is no chaos in society.But rape and murder of a lady with unheard brutality will come under rarest of rare cases,as their actions taken were not to defend their dignity and neither due to state misgovernance

Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 at 08:12 IST

Once death sentence is passed after arguments at highest court, there
should be NO delay in executing the orders and hanging the culprits; NO
purpose served by inordinate delay that causes uncalled for arguments
again and avoidable expenditure for Govt; Pity we do not follow this
elementary principle; God bestow better sense on our people !!!

from:  Radhik Hairam
Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 at 06:01 IST

It's time the Supreme Court gets its act together. Extending the lease of life in instalments is cruel than the capital punishment.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Feb 21, 2013 at 03:31 IST

It is now apparent ( not that it was not clear before) that the
Government wantonly ensured that the rejection of the clemency
petition of Afzal Guru was kept under wraps and before the news could
be leaked out in the press hang him. The authorities, the morally
reprehensible government knew that a petition in the SC preying for
humanitarian consideration considering the long years of incarceration
under the shadow of death was unconstitutional and mockery of human
rights would see the court ruling in favour of Afzal Guru.
That they avoided in a immoral and cruel way. It was not justice but
archaic law in execution.
The Veerappan associate's are outlaws and abhorrent in their conduct
while at large, but that does not preclude them or must deny them the
commutation of their death sentences.

from:  Anilkumar Kurup
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 18:40 IST

After the final singature of President of India to hang them, why SC is delaying matter. If the conviction was delayed, due to the technicalities, now the matter is very clear and hang them. They deserve to be hanged. If their family want them to be alive, what aboout the Police men's family lost thier men? Justice to be equal to all be it Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru. All of these crimes are of same nature i.e. war against the nation.

from:  Ibrahim Hussain
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 17:07 IST

The extension of the stay of Veerappan aides execution is fair if we want to exclude the capital punishment. But it at the same time shows the dual nature of the Indian administration policies. There are two types of handling the cases for the people of two different regions. The live example is the case of Afzal Guru who was not given a chance to appeal and the execution was performed in a secret manner. If this continues, then we are going to divide India for sure. Please come out of the dirty politics and care for the common people.

from:  Farooq Ahmad
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 16:47 IST

These accused were given a chance by the govt after their mercy
petition was rejected, to appeal to SC about clemency due to undue delay
in execution. But in case of Afzal Guru govt had no such broad
mindedness. Matter is so simple. Executing Afzal Guru is politically
gainful for Congress where as hanging these Tamilians may prove to be
politically not advantageous.The pettiness in the minds of our rulers is

from:  Rama Rao B
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 15:50 IST

The Veerappan aides' execution was stayed by the SC because they claimed that they underwent mental agony due to their mercy petition being dalayed. They are undergoing punishment because they caused the death of several people. When undergoing punishment, there will be mental agony. Now they are amongst us for six more months. These are people that a civilised society do not want among them. They are also maintained at the expense of this same society. Only their ralatives want them alive.

from:  Feby J.Jacob
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 13:21 IST
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