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India: Execution of death sentence awarded to two murder convicts scheduled for Oct. 1

September 14, 2012 | By

Patiala/Punjab (September 14, 2012): According to media reports two convict in a murder case is scheduled to be hanged at 9 am on October 5, 2012 in the Central Jail, Patiala as the court of district and sessions judge G. K. Dhir on September 14, 2012 fixed the date and time of the execution of Vikram Singh Walia and Jasvir Singh, who had abducted and killed Abhi (16), a Hoshiarpur boy, for ransom in February 2005.

These executions, if carried, would break a de facto moratorium on death penalty observed in India since last eight years as no execution has taken place after execution of Dhananjoy Chatterjee on August 14, 2004 at Alipore Central Jail in Calcutta, India.

According to reports the court has issued directions to jail authorities to make necessary preparations and give a report after executing the death warrants. The court added that it should be informed in case the convicts got stay on the execution.

It is notable that the sessions court had pronounced death penalty for Vikram Singh, Jasvir Singh and the latter’s wife Sonia, the third accused in the case, on December 21, 2006. The Punjab and Haryana high court had confirmed the death sentence on May 30, 2008, but the Supreme Court had commuted Sonia’s sentence to life imprisonment in January 2010. The death-row convicts had filed a special leave petition in the apex court, stating that death sentence for conviction under Section 364-A (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code was unconstitutional, but after arguments, the court dismissed the plea as withdrawn on May 2, 2012.

“The victim’s father, Ravi Verma, through his counsel Maninderpal Singh, had applied in the sessions court for death warrants for the convicts under Section 414 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Maninderpal said the Patiala jail superintendent had informed the court that so far there had been no stay on the execution of the convicts” reports Hindustan Times (HT).

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