The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday extended its stay on the execution of murder convict, Dharampal Singh, 45, lodged in the Ambala central jail, till July 29.
The division bench headed by justice AK Mittal also issued notice of motion to the Haryana government on the amended petition filed by Dharampal impleading the central government as respondent and seeking directions to the Centre to produce the records of mercy petition dealt in President's office as well as the home department.
Sonepat native Dharampal was sentenced to death by Sonepat sessions judge court in 1997 for murdering five members of a family in 1993. He has now sought commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds that he has already served two decades behind bars, and that the President had taken 13 years and 5 months' time to eventually reject his mercy plea on March 28.
He has also submitted that he had been acquitted of the rape charges by the high court on November 19, 2003, and the Haryana and the central government authorities failed to apprise the President of the development that formed basis of upholding the death sentence of the petitioner.
The petitioner's counsel Navkiran Singh relied on the latest Supreme Court judgment in 'Mahendra Nath vs UOI' case dated May 1 commuting Mahendra Nath's death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds that there was a delay of 12 years in deciding the mercy plea by the President and home ministry did not apprise the present President regarding a note of the earlier President who had opined that petitioner's mercy petition should be accepted.
Dharampal was to he hanged on April 15 at the Ambala central jail, but the high court had stayed the execution till April 6.On the alleged rape victim's complaint, Dharampal, a resident of Mohalla Panna in tehsil Gohana of Sonepat, was earlier awarded 10-year imprisonment on January 7, 1991. But later, when he was out on parole in 1993, he had murdered the alleged rape victim's father, mother, two brothers and a sister in the wee hours of June 4, 1993. The victim and her husband were able to save their lives. However, later on November 19, 2003, the high court had acquitted Dharampal of rape charges after finding that it was "a case of consent".