INDIA: HC COMMUTES DHARAMPAL'S DEATH SENTENCE TO LIFE TERM
April 21, 2015: Giving benefit of prolonged delay in deciding on his mercy petition by the President, the Punjab and Haryana high court commuted the death sentence of Dharampal, a rape convict from Sonipat who later murdered five members of the rape survivor's family while out on parole in 1993, to life imprisonment.
Dharampal, a resident of Shahpur Turk in Sonipat district, was to be hanged on April 15, 2014 at Ambala jail but his execution was stayed by the HC after hearing a petition moved by him.
The HC has commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground that the government took around 13 years to decide on his mercy petition. Arguing the case, Dharampal's lawyer had cited the landmark verdict of the Supreme Court on January 21, 2014, which held that death sentence of a condemned prisoner can be commuted to life imprisonment on the ground of delay on the part of the government in deciding the mercy plea. (Sources: TNN, 22/04/2015)