The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday stayed till May 6 the hanging of murder convict Dharampal,who had killed five members of the family of a girl he was charged with raping. The murders were committed while he was on out on bail in 1993.
Upholding a trial courts decision to award a death sentence to Dharampal in 1999,the Supreme Court had emphasised that despite having been convicted for rape,Dharampal had misutilised his bail and killed five family members of the victim.
Four years later,on November 19,2003,the Punjab and Haryana High Court acquitted Dharampal of rape charges,giving him the benefit of doubt.
Reason: The victim took a U-turn and even refused to identify Dharampal in court. Holding it to be a case of consent,the court acquitted him of rape charges
Emphasising that he was acquitted of rape charges,for the first time,Dharampals counsel Navkiran Singh on Wednesday opposed his death sentence. Following this,a Division Bench of the High Court stayed the execution of his death warrants till May 6.
Navkiran Singh also apprised the court that Dharampal will file a review petition of his death sentence in the Supreme Court in view of his acquittal in the rape case by the High Court.
Dharampal,put on the death row,was slated to be hanged on April 15 after the President rejected his mercy petition.
Dharampal was convicted of rape charges by a trial court in 1992.