Guwahati: After the three killers of Rajiv
Gandhi, another death row convict Mahendra Nath Das got some
reprieve today when Gauhati High Court stayed his execution
till November one on his plea similar to that made by them.
Das contended there was a 12 year delay in disposal of
his petition seeking clemency from President.
A division bench of the Court comprising Chief Justice
M B Lokur and Justice K Meruno stayed the execution after
hearing the petition filed by Das.
Das in his petition claimed that the delay in disposal
of his plea was in violation of Article 21 on protection of
life and personal liberty which states "No person shall be
deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to
procedure established by law."
On August 30, the three Rajiv killers--Murugan, Santhan
and Perarivalan--on death row got a reprieve from the Madras
High Court which stayed their execution for eight weeks. They
were due to be hanged on September 9.
The three men contended there had been a delay of over
11 years in the disposal of their petitions seeking
Their lawyers including Ram Jethmalani submitted that
the "inordinate and inexplainable delay" in disposing of their
mercy petitions violated Article 21 of the Constitution
(Protection of life and personal liberty).
On June 7, the Gauhati High Court had stayed the hanging
of Das after his mother had filed a writ petition.
After the stay, the victim`s son petitioned the court
on August 3 stating his family had suffered as much as that of
Das because of the murder.
Subsequently on September 8, the court had rejected
the writ filed by Das`s mother Kusumbala as unntenable.
The death sentence was awarded in 1997 and a petition
was filed against it, but in 1999 both the High Court and
Supreme Court upheld the execution order.
Das then filed a mercy petition in June 1999 before
the President, but after twelve years it was rejected.
Das was convicted for beheading a person named
Hara Kanta Das at Fancy Bazar in Guwahati on April 24, 1996
and then surrendering before the police with the victim?s