Noose for rapist as Prez rejects mercy

The President has rejected the eight-year-old mercy petition of a death-row convict who had murdered five members of a family in Sonepat district in 1993.

Dharm Pal Singh, a truck driver, was undergoing a 10-year prison term on charges of raping a woman of the same family and was on a few days' parole when he, accompanied by his brother Nirmal Singh, committed the murder out of 'revenge'.

He had killed Tule Ram, his wife, two sons and a daughter. The other daughter, whom he had raped, managed to escape along with another person.

A local court pronounced the death sentence for Singh and his brother in May 1997.

The order was upheld by the Punjab and Haryana high court in 1998, and later by the Supreme Court in 1999. However, on a revision petition, the Supreme Court turned Nirmal's death sentence into life imprisonment.

After going through a long channel, Singh filed a mercy petition to the President in 2005.

On the date of the hanging, Rohtak district jail superintendent Shish Pal Singh said: "It will be decided by the state government and we are yet to be informed by it."

"We have informed him (Dharm Pal Singh) regarding the rejection of his mercy plea. He is still hopeful that his death penalty may be turned into life imprisonment."


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