New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of eight prisoners for a month after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected their mercy plea. The apex court has said that it wants to make sure whether the family has been duly informed and the Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru episode isn't repeated.
The convicts' counsel had filed petitions challenging the rejection of their mercy plea. During the hearing, the bench said it wanted to ascertain whether proper communication had been sent to their relatives. The petitioners had apprehended that they would be executed following the rejection of their mercy petitions.
Seven cases of multiple murders, including one in which a convict, who was out on bail on rape charge, killed five members of the girl's family, were sent to the President for final decision in February. The recommendations in seven cases, involving nine people, were sent after the President took decision on mercy petitions of eight condemned prisoners including Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru - both whom have been hanged. While Kasab was hanged on November 21, 2012, Guru was executed on February 9.
The convicts whose mercy petitions were sent to the President in February with recommendations by the Home Ministry were:
- Dharampal from Haryana who had murdered five members of the family of a girl he had raped in 1993.
- Sonia, daughter of a former Haryana MLA and her husband Sanjeev, who drugged and killed eight of her family in Hisar in 2001 including her parents.
- Sunder Singh from Uttarakhand, who was convicted for rape and murder on June 30, 1989.
- Jafar Ali from Uttar Pradesh killed wife and five daughters in 2002.
- Praveen Kumar from Karnataka was convicted for killing four members of a family on February 23, 1994.
- Gurmeet Singh from Uttar Pradesh killed 13 members of a family on August 17, 1986.
- Suresh and Ramji, also from Uttar Pradesh, were convicted for killing five members of their younger brother's family.