Thursday, May 30, 2019

SC stays death sentence of Theni man (Tamil Nadu)

NEW DELHI , APRIL 17, 2019 01:12 IST

Warrant has left no time for the convict to file an appeal, says Bench led by Chief Justice

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the execution of a 30-year-old man convicted for killing a college girl and her lover after raping her near Suruli Hills in Theni district in 2011. A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi set aside the warrant of execution issued by the Theni principal sessions judge after the Madras High Court upheld the conviction of Diwakar for murder, and confirmed the death penalty on March 13. The date of execution of the convict, as per the warrant, was April 22.

Diwakar (Theni Murder Case)
The CJI-led Bench noted that the warrant of execution left no time for the convict to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. If implemented, the convict would be executed even before the time allowed under law to file an appeal was exhausted. “The period for filing of a special leave petition/an appeal against the order of conviction and sentence passed is yet to be over, we are of the view that the warrant for execution of death sentence, dated March 27, 2019, 27.3.2019, is contrary to the law,” the apex court held. The Supreme Court further recorded: “We are also told that the petitioner is in the process of filing an appeal. The same as and when filed, will receive due attention of the court”.

In its judgment, the High Court had termed the murder as a “brutal act on the helpless young couple, that too after raping the girl”. “The savageness of the act was shocking and such a person will be a menace to the society,” it had observed. The trial court had sentenced Diwakar to death in March 2018, saying the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

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