The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the execution of two death row convicts in a 13-year-old rape-cum-murder case. The duo was scheduled to be hanged on Thursday even as one of them tried to commit suicide in Hindalga jail in Belgaum in Karnataka.
Shivu Munishetti and Jadeswamy Rangashetti, whose mercy pleas had been rejected by the President earlier this month, had moved the apex court saying there was a delay of six years in deciding their clemency petitions. They were sent to gallows for brutally raping and murdering a teenager in 2001.
Appearing before a bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam, senior advocate KV Vishwanathan sought stay on the execution of their sentence citing delay by the government in deciding on their mercy pleas.
“It is asserted that in both the matters the mercy petition filed by the petitioners remained pending for six years. Since the connected petitions are pending before this court, we are inclined to issue notice,” the bench said, as it tagged the matter with similar petitions filed earlier this month.
Shivu had allegedly attempted suicide in the jail amid preparations by prison authorities to hang him along with the other convict. According to jail officials, he had slashed his private parts and a hand with a blade.
Shivu and Jadeswamy were arrested by Chamarajnagar police in connection with rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl on October 15, 2001.
The trial court in July 2005 sentenced them to death and later their appeal was rejected by the Karnataka high court. The SC verdict was upheld in 2007.
Their mercy plea was declined by President Pranab Mukherjee a few days ago.