The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday extended till further order the stay on execution of Saibanna Ningappa Natikar.
The mercy petition of Saibanna was rejected by the President on January 4.
A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice V. Suri Appa Rao extended the stay after it was informed that similar matters are pending before the Supreme Court for adjudication.
Like in Saibanna’s case, the issue of delayed rejection of mercy pleas of death row convicts — four aides of the slain forest brigand Veerappan and 1993 Delhi blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar — were pending before the apex court.
The Union government has filed a statement in the High Court contending that “time consumed in taking a decision on mercy pleas cannot be termed either as cruelty or double sentence” as claimed in Saibanna’s petition.
“In fact, pendency of mercy petition gives an extra bounty of life to the convicts facing death penalty albeit in prison,” the Union government claimed in its statement.
Saibanna was sentenced to death in January 2003 by a trial court in Gulbarga for killing his two wives and daughter.