Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday extended till February 11 the stay on execution of Saibanna Ningappa Natekar, sentenced to death for murdering his two wives and a daughter.
Hearing a petition filed by the death row convict, seeking a stay of his execution, a division bench comprising Justices K Sreedhar Rao and Abdul Nazeer extended the stay till February 11, granting time to the central government to file their objections.
Lodged in Hindalga Jail in Belgaum, Natekar had prayed that the court commute the death sentence and sought judicial review of the mercy petition, which was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month.
In his submission, 60-year-old Natekar contended he had spent 18-years-and-three-months in jail and there was no purpose in hanging an old man. Execution, he stated, would only amount to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.
"The avoidable delay in deciding mercy petition is extra punishment and is not mandatory as there is a delay of seven years, eight months and six days in deciding the plea. Execution of death sentence, after a delay of seven years is whimsical, arbitrary, capricious and violation of Article 14.
"Non-execution engenders a legitimate expectation that the government intends to commute death sentence and will not execute, but it has been opposite to him," his lawyer contended in the petition.
On January 22, the Karnataka High Court had stayed Saibanna`s execution for one week.
President Pranab Mukherjee on January 4 had rejected his mercy petition, which was pending since April 29, 2005.
Saibanna was sentenced to death in 2005 for murdering his second wife and daughter in 1994. At the time of murder, he was on parole from a life sentence for killing his first wife in 1992.