Thursday, May 2, 2013

SC commutes death sentence of M N Das , a condemned prisoner from Assam

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday commuted death sentence of M N Das, a condemned prisoner from Assam, to life sentence. M N Das had been on death row for last 16 years. The apex court took into account the long delay in deciding the mercy plea as a ground for commuting Das's death sentence.

Recently, the SC had rejected a similar plea from Devinder Singh Bhullar, who was awarded death penalty for 1993 bomb blast in Delhi that killed 9. Das, while out on bail in another case, had beheaded one Harakanta Das at Fancy Bazaar in Assam and surrendered with the victim's head on April 24, 1996 and in 1997, the sessions court there had sentenced him to death.

His conviction and sentence was subsequently upheld by the Gauhati high court in 1998 and the Supreme Court in 1999. He had moved in 1999 a mercy plea, which remained pending for eleven years before the President and was rejected in 2011. Das had then filed a writ petition in the apex court pleading for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment since he had already spent about 14 years in jail during the disposal of his petition seeking presidential clemency.

He is currently lodged in Jorhat Central Jail in Assam.
(With inputs from PTI)

Source: [accessed on 2nd May 2013]

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