The Sentence Review Board's call to commute the life sentence of the “Butcher of Trilokpuri”, Kishori Lal, who had killed eight persons in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has made Delhi lieutenant-governor Tejendra Khanna “extra-cautious”.
Officials in Khanna's office said he now sought individual reports on convicts who have been named by the board for the commuting of their sentences on the ground of “good conduct” before giving his assent. Lal's amnesty was put on hold by Khanna after a report in the Hindustan Times.
“Khanna found that most convicts named by the board for amnesty were involved in heinous crimes. That’s why he has asked the board to reconsider its recommendations,” a senior official in Khanna’s office said.
The board, chaired by chief minister Sheila Dikshit, had decided to commute the life sentences of eight convicts in its meeting on August 8 and had sent the recommendations to Khanna for his approval and notification. Khanna, however, returned the file to the board for reconsideration. Dikhsit, later, called his action “not a usual practice”.
According to an official, the eight convicts who were to be granted amnesty include at least two who kidnapped and murdered young girls in separate cases to exact revenge from their parents. Such cases, said officials, were unpardonable.