Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday stayed till May 6 the hanging of rape convict Dharam Pal, who murdered the victim and four members of her family while out on parole in 1993.
Taking up the petition for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment, a division bench of Justice A K Mittal and Justice G S Sandhawalia adjourned the matter till May 6.
Dharampal, whose mercy petition moved in 2005 was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee, was set to be hanged on April 15 and had been brought from Rohtak jail where he was lodged to Ambala for the execution.
The court was hearing a petition of NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International, which, on behalf of the convict, had sought commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment on ground of delay in disposing of the mercy plea.
In 1991, Dharampal was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment for raping a girl in Sonepat.
After his release on parole in 1993, Dharampal along with his brother Nirmal murdered the girl, her father Tale Ram, mother Krishna and brothers Teenu and Praveen when they were sleeping in their house.
Dharmapal and Nirmal were sentenced to death by a Sessions Court on May 5, 1997 and it was upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 29, 1998.
However, the Supreme Court converted Nirmal`s death penalty to life imprisonment but Dharampal`s death sentence was retained.