National

Delhi HC to the rescue of man whose mercy plea was rejected by President

Commutes to life term the death sentence awarded to 31-year-old Sonu Sardar

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday commuted to life term the capital punishment awarded to a 31-year-old man in a case relating to the murder of five persons, including two children, in 2004 in Chhattisgarh.

“We commute the sentence imposed upon the petitioner and substitute it to a sentence of imprisonment for life in place of death sentence,” a Bench of Justices G.S. Sistani and Vinod Goel said. It made it clear that “life imprisonment means [till the] end of one’s life.”

The Bench pointed out that there were “numerous discrepancies and falsities” in the affidavits filed by the Chhattisgarh government.

“Despite the same, we have proceeded to decide the matter in the interests of justice. At the same time, such practice is deprecated and should be taken note of by the higher authorities,” it added.

The High Court had on March 2, 2015 stayed the execution of Sonu Sardar after which the Chhattisgarh government had approached the Supreme Court challenging Delhi High Court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.

SC asked HC to decide

The Supreme Court had asked the High Court to decide the State’s application in this regard. The High Court had dismissed the State government’s plea and said it could hear and grant stay on the execution, as the decision rejecting his mercy plea was taken here by the President of India.

Sardar, along with his brother and accomplices, had killed five persons of a family, including two children, during a dacoity bid in Chhattisgarh’s Cher village on November 26, 2004.

The trial court had slapped death penalty on him and the Chhattisgarh High Court had upheld it.

The Supreme Court in 2012 concurred with the findings of two courts and affirmed the punishment. His mercy petition was also dismissed by both the Governor and the President.

The convict then moved the High Court seeking to commute the death sentence.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 8:32:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-hc-to-the-rescue-of-man-whose-mercy-plea-was-rejected-by-president/article19166579.ece

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