The Haryana cabinet on Thursday recommended pardon for four murder convicts to Governor Jagannath Pahadia.
Citing social harmony and law and order issues,the cabinet reached this conclusion on the basis of a compromise signed before the village panchayat by the families of the convicts and their rivals.
All four convicts belong to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hoodas home district of Rohtak.
Nine cases of murders and attempts to murders have been registered between the two groups in Kansala village in Rohtak after the four convicts Rambir,Vinod,Satpal and Rajiv murdered a rival group member,Pawan Kumar,on May 23,2001.
In 12 years (2001 to 2013),all those facing charges in the nine cases have been acquitted as neither of the sides supported prosecutions case.
The four accused for whom the Haryana government is now seeking pardon were sentenced with life imprisonment by the court of Vinod Jain,Rohtak Additional Sessions Judge,on January 25,2003 for Pawans murder. The accused appealed against their conviction but a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed their appeal on March 29,2010.
The village panchayat had been instrumental in arranging a compromise between members of both the groups. The compromise deed signed on February 10,2010 was also produced before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. But the court dismissed their compromise on the ground that murder charges were not compoundable.
Still,considering the same compromise deed and a bunch of recommendatory reports from Haryana DGP and Rohtak SP and a few other officers,the state decided to recommend pardon for the four.
According to the government,the case under which the four were convicted was an outcome of enmity due to a dispute over the election of sarpanch at Kansala. The recommendations made by the Haryana Police revealed that the conduct of convicts in prison had been satisfactory. While Rambir had completed sentence of about 11 years,Vinod had completed eight,Rajiv four and Satpal over two years.
The mercy appeal under Article 161 of the Constitution may be submitted before Haryana Governor with recommendation for grant of pardon on the basis of compromise effected between the parties after assessing the recommendatory reports of DGP,DC and others.
Thus,the objective sought to be achieved is to maintain and keep peace,harmony and brotherhood for betterment and interest of the society at large as validated by communitywide compromise and commitment of maintenance of peace, the cabinet stated.