Following a petition of killers of Hoshiarpur boy Abhi Verma, a Punjab and Haryana high court bench on Friday summoned the record of the case. Abhi was kidnapped and killed in 2005.
The two killers, whose death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court, have moved the high court seeking stay on execution of their death sentence and commuting it to life sentence.
A Hoshiarpur court has recently issued their death warrants for execution on October 25.
The high court has also issued notices to the Punjab home secretary and DGP (prisons), seeking their replies by October 17.
The petition was filed by Jasbir Singh, alias Jassa, and Vikram Singh, alias Vicky, both residents of Hoshiarpur. They are lodged in the Patiala central jail.
Their counsel Gursharan Kaur Mann had argued that the petitioners are detained in solitary confinement for the past more than 10 years and now the Punjab government was working in haste to hang them. In several cases, the Supreme Court has accepted delay as the ground for conversion of death sentence into life imprisonment. In this case as well, there is delay of seven years in their execution after the Supreme Court had upheld their conviction, she said.
The duo and their woman accomplice had kidnapped and killed Abhi, a goldsmith’s son, for ransom in February 2005. The trio were sentenced to death by a Hoshiarpur court on December 21, 2006. The high court had confirmed the death sentence on May 30, 2008. On January 25, 2010, the SC had also upheld death sentence for Vikram and Jasvir, but converted Sonia’s death sentence to life sentence. Their mercy petition filed before the Punjab governor was dismissed on January 22, 2016, and on August 11, 2016, the President of India also turned down their plea.