Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rare Indian Judgment Awarding Death Penalty

Chandigarh :In a rare judgment, a special narcotics court here Saturday awarded death penalty to a man for dealing in drugs.

Special Narcotics Court Judge Shalini Nagpal awarded capital punishment to Paramjit Singh for dealing in a 10-kg consignment of heroin in 2007. The consignment was worth crores of rupees in the international market.

Singh was trying to deliver the consignment to an African, Sestus Benson, who was also arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) here in November 2007 from Sector 39.The court sentenced Benson to 15 years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Paramjit was on parole after his arrest and conviction in another drug trafficking case in Delhi when he was arrested here in this case. The court, while awarding capital punishment to him, said that this made his crime a grave one.

NCB officials here said that the death penalty in this case was “historic” and would become a deterrent for drug traffickers.

Source: http://onionlive.com/2012/01/29/rare-indian-judgment-awarding-death-penalty/
accessed on 31st January 2012

HC upholds death sentence for Mahendra

TNN | Jan 31, 2012, 07.39AM IST

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Monday upheld its previous order of a death sentence for murder convict Mahendra Das, after keeping the verdict reserved for a week, and dismissed his plea to convert the death sentence to life imprisonment.

However, Mahendra is going to move the Supreme Court once again in the case.

Last Monday, the high court concluded the hearing in the case and reserved the verdict. Mahendra in his writ petition prayed to the high court to convert his death sentence into lifetime imprisonment since he has already spent about 14 years in jail awaiting the disposal of his petition seeking presidential clemency.

On April 24, 1996, Mahendra Das beheaded Harakanta Das in Fancy Bazar area of the city and surrendered to the police with the victim's head. He was arrested and has been in jail since 1997. The sessions court later ordered his execution in 1998.

The Gauhati high court in 1998 and the Supreme Court in 1999 upheld capital punishment in the case. In 1999, Mahendra's family moved a mercy petition to the then President K R Narayanan. After almost 12 years, the plea was finally turned down in May 2011 by present President Pratibha Patil, setting the stage for Mahendra's hanging.

"The division bench of chief justice A K Goel and justice C R Sarma today dismissed the writ petition filed by Mahendra Das where he prayed to convert his death sentence into lifetime imprisonment on the grounds of delay in disposal of his mercy petition by the President. We argued that the delay does not entail quashing the sentence and converting it into life imprisonment," said Bhaskar Dev Konwar, the counsel of Amal Das, son of Harakanta Das.

The assistant solicitor general of India (Gauhati high court), Randeep Sarma, added, "The delay in disposal of the mercy petition by the President can't be considered a cause for commuting the judgment. It is the President's discretionary power. We have submitted all the documents relating to the case before the court in this time period."

Happy with the judgment of the high court, Amal Das said, "It is sad that Mahendra's aged mother has to witness her son's death, but we have gone through the same. I have seen my father's gruesome death at Mahendra's hands."

On September 8, 2011, a division bench of the high court had rejected a petition filed by the convict's mother, Kusumbala Das, for commuting her son's death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground that Mahendra's mother had no locus standi to file it on behalf of her son.

On the other hand, unhappy with the verdict, Arup Borbora, the counsel of Mahendra Das, said they would move the Supreme Court in the case.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/HC-upholds-death-sentence-for-Mahendra/articleshow/11694957.cms
accessed on 31st January 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Noose for 59 in the last decade, HC confirms death in four cases

Saeed Khan, TNN Jan 2, 2012, 03.49AM IST

AHMEDABAD: With the two accused in Chandni rape and murder case getting death penalty, the number of people sentenced to death by hanging in 2011 in Gujarat has gone up to 15. This is the second highest figure in the last decade after 17 persons were ordered to be hanged by different sessions courts across the state in 2004.

In all, 59 persons tried in 36 different offences were sentenced to death in Gujarat in the last decade but the Gujarat high court confirmed the death penalty in four cases only, one of them being the Akshardham temple attack case, wherein three persons have been condemned to be hanged till death. Seventeen cases, including those of two drug peddlers and the cases of 2011, are still to be adjudged by the HC.

Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-01-02/ahmedabad/30580727_1_life-imprisonment-death-penalty-death-sentence accessed on 09th January 2012

‘No death if convict can be reformed’

Mohan K Korappath, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 02, 2011

The Supreme Court (SC), in two recent judgments, has held that there is no reason to impose death penalty if a convict can be rehabilitated and reformed. The SC's remarks could put a different spin on the controversies surrounding clemencies for Afzal Guru and the plotters of Rajiv Gandhi's

On Friday, a division bench of justice P Sathasivam and justice BS Chauhan on commuted a death sentence to life imprisonment following an appeal by the accused Kishor Matkari. Matkari challenged a decision of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court, which enhanced a life sentence to that of death. Earlier in the week, a division bench of justice DK Jain and justice Asok Kumar Ganguly, substituted the death sentence of accused Rajesh Kumar after he appealed against the sentence awarded by the Delhi high court.

In both cases, the judges examined facts that went into making a case 'rarest of rare' and whether a significant mitigating factor justified exemption from a death penalty. The judges also noted that it was necessary to look into factors such as criminal antecedents and socio-economic background of the convicts.

In Kumar's case, the division bench, referring to constitutional judgments and the internationally accepted standards, pointed out that "the death sentence should only be imposed instead of life sentence in 'rarest of rare' cases where the crime or crimes are of exceptional heinousness and the individual has no significant mitigation and is considered beyond reformation."

The bench also observed that the court must show a real and abiding concern for the dignity of human life, which must postulate resistance to taking life through law's instrumentality. Except in 'rarest of rare cases' and for 'special reasons', death sentence cannot be imposed as an alternative option to the imposition of life sentence.

Meanwhile, in Matkari's case, the high court held that there was no reason to disbelieve that the accused could not be reformed or rehabilitated or that he was likely to continue criminal acts of violence and be a menace to society.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/No-death-if-convict-can-be-reformed/Article1-752611.aspx accessed on 09th January 2012

Man gets capital punishment for killing brother, family members

Aurangabad, Maharashtra, May 4 2006, 14:03 [IST]

The Aurangabad division bench of the Bombay High Court has awarded capital punishment to a man for killing his elder brother, sister-in-law and nephew over a petty issue.Pronouncing the order yesterday on a petition challenging the order of the local court in Jalgaon in the case, the bench comprising Justices P S Brahme and V G Munshi converted accused - Shyam Kishore Matkari's (32) sentence of life imprisonment to capital punishment.

According to prosecution, Matkari had some property dispute with his elder brother Manohar, with whom he was staying at Bhusaval in Jalgaon district.

When his brother pressed for selling the property, Shyam, in a fit of anger, attacked Manohar and his wife -Minabai with a stone on June 29, 2001 following which both died on the spot.Shyam also attacked his nephews - Akhilesh and Vishvesh and niece Monica with a wooden stick. The children were then rushed to hospital where Akhilesh died.

The Bhusaval police had filed a chargesheet against the accused and the case was heard before the additional sessions court in Jalgaon.On March 5, 2003, the court had sentenced the accused to life imprisonment on charge of murdering three members of the family. The court had also slapped a seven years' rigorous imprisonment on him for threatening his nephew and niece Monica with dire consequences, and also fined him Rs 25,000.

However, Shyam challenged the verdict in the High Court.During the arguments, Assistant Government Pleader (AGP) Umakant Patil said the accused had killed the family over a petty issue and termed it as a planned attempt by the accused, since all the family members were fast asleep when he attacked them late in the night. Following this, the High Court bench yesterday awarded capital punishment to Shyam.

Source: http://news.oneindia.in/2006/05/04/man-gets-capital-punishment-for-killing-brother-family-members-1146731617.html accessed on 09th January 2012

Pune court gives death sentence to labourer for killing wife

Published: Saturday, Mar 19, 2011, 17:57 IST

By Mohsin Mulla | Place: Kolhapur | Agency: DNA 

A construction labourer, who killed his pregnant wife and tried to kill his two children, was given death sentence on Friday morning by the district principal and session judge PD Desai.

The convict, Ramesh Mahipati Randive, 38, aresident of Old Vashi Naka, near Rankala Lake, killed his wife Ashwini on August 6, 2008. Ramesh had also tried to kill his three- year-old son Kedar and 10-year-old daughter Shubhangi. Ashwini was two months pregnant and was requesting Ramesh for abortion due their poor economic condition. The issue was creating frequent quarrels between the couple.Ashwini’s father Dhondiram Pawale persuaded Ramesh for abortion of Ashwini on August 5.

However, on the wee hours of August 6, Ramesh again started quarrelling with Ashwini. At that time Kedar, Shubhangi and Ramesh’s 16-year-old niece Sonali Kate were in the home. Ramesh rammed a wooden pestle five to six times on Ashwini’s head and she died on the spot. 

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_pune-court-gives-death-sentence-to-labourer-for-killing-wife_1521967 accessed on 09th January 2012