The Supreme Court Tuesday stayed the hanging of two men convicted of kidnapping and killing the 16-year-old son of a Hoshiarpur-based goldsmith in 2005. “The execution of death sentence shall remain stayed,” said a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra. The court fixed the review petition by the two convicts, Jasbir Singh and his brother-in-law, Vikram Singh, for final hearing on October 24.
Both were to be executed on October 25 in Patiala Jail. “Learned counsel for the parties fairly agreed that the arguments cannot exceed more than half an hour. It is hereby made clear that no adjournment shall be granted on October 24,” added the bench.
Mercy petitions of the two convicts were recently rejected by the President and the duo were to be hanged this week. Vikram and Jasbir were sentenced to death under charges of murder and kidnapping of the class ninth student of DAV school, Abhi Verma, in February 2005 for a ransom of Rs 50 lakh. The 16-year-old had died due to overdose of anesthesia.
Their death penalty was confirmed by the top court in August 2015. “Death penalty in a case of kidnapping or abduction will not qualify to be described as barbaric or inhuman so as to infringe the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution,” the court had said while dismissing the appeal against conviction and sentence.
The duo has now filed a review petition against the rejection of their mercy plea by the President. One of the grounds raised by the convicts in their review petitions pertained to inordinate delay in deciding their mercy plea.