The Karnataka High Court today extended till April 6 the stay on the execution of Saibanna Ningappa Natekar, who was sentenced to death for murdering his two wives and a daughter.
Hearing a petition filed by the death row convict seeking stay of his execution, a division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao extended the stay till April 6.
Lodged in Hindalga Jail in Belgaum, he had prayed that the court commute the death sentence and sought a judicial review of the mercy petition which was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month.
In his submission, 60 year-old Saibanna had stated that he had spent 18 years and three months in jail and there was no purpose in hanging an old man. Execution, he stated, would only amount to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.
“The avoidable delay in deciding mercy petition is extra punishment and is not mandatory as there is a delay of seven years, eight months and six days in deciding the plea. Execution of death sentence, after a delay of seven years is whimsical, arbitrary, capricious and violation of Article 14.”
“Non-execution engenders a legitimate expectation that the government intends to commute death sentence and will not execute, but it has been opposite to him”, he contended.
On Jan 29, the Karnataka High Court had stayed Saibanna’s execution till Feb 11 when it was further extended till Tuesday.
President Pranab Mukherjee had on January 4, 2013 rejected his mercy petition, which was pending since April 29, 2005.
Saibanna was sentenced to death in 2005 for murdering his second wife and daughter in 1994. At the time of the murder, he was on parole from a life sentence for killing his first wife in 1992.