Guwahati, Thursday, September 15, 2011
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HC stays death sentence of Mahendra
LAW reporter
 GUWAHATI, Sept 14 – The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice Madan Bhimarao Lokur and Justice K Meruno after hearing the Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 35/11 filed by Mahendra Nath Das today issued notice returnable by November 1 and, in the meantime, stayed the execution of death sentence of Das.

Mahendra Nath Das was sentenced to death by a judgement and order dated 18.8.97 by the Session Judge, Kamrup in Session Case No. 114 (K)/96 for murdering of Hara Kanta Das on 24.4.96. The sentence of death was confined by the Gauhati High Court on 3.2.98 and thereafter, the Supreme Court by an order dated 14.5.99 upheld the sentence of death of Das. The convict filed a mercy petition on 4-6-99 before the President of India, and on 27-5-11 after a period of 11 years 11 months, the mercy petition was rejected by the President. Earlier, the mother of the convict Kusumbala Das field a Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 17/11 before the High Court for a direction to prohibit the execution of death sentence and for alteration of the death sentence into life imprisonment.

The court by an order dated 8.9.11 dismissed the said petition on the ground that convit’s mother had neither locus nor authority to file such petition. The present writ petition was field by the convict Mahendra Nath Das making a prayer for prohibiting his execution of death sentence and to alter the same to life imprisonment on the ground that on similar issues, the Supreme Court has earlier interfered the execution on different convicts.

The Division Bench today heard the matter and issued notice upon all the respondent authorities and in the interim, stayed the execution of death sentence of the petitioner and also directed the respondent authorities to file their counter affidavits.

The case is fixed for further hearing on November 1, 2011.

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