HANG­ING IN THE BAL­ANCE

The fate of In­dia’s most high-pro­file death row con­victs

India Today - - JUDICIARY -

RA­JIV GANDHI’S AS­SAS­SINS

MAY 21, 1991 Mu­ru­gan, 44, LTTE op­er­a­tive who planned and ex­e­cuted the strike with Si­varasan.

San­than, 45, mem­ber of Mu­ru­gan’s squad.

Per­ari­valan, 43, LTTE sym­pa­thiser who helped make the bomb used to kill Ra­jiv. Sen­tenced to death in 1998, their mercy pleas were re­jected by Pres­i­dent Prat­i­bha Patil in 2011. On Fe­bru­ary 18, the Supreme Court (SC)com­muted their sen­tence to in jail, and the next day, J. Jay­alalithaa or­dered their free­dom. On Fe­bru­ary 20, SC stayed their re­lease on the Cen­tre’s pe­ti­tion and listed the next hear­ing for March 6.

PAR­LIA­MENT HOUSE AT­TACK

DE­CEM­BER 13, 2001

Afzal Guru, 43, sur­ren­dered JKLF mil­i­tant who con­spired to at­tack par­lia­ment. In Au­gust 2005, SC con­firmed the death penalty awarded to him in 2002. He was hanged in Delhi’s Ti­har Jail on Fe­bru­ary 9, 2013, six days af­ter the Pres­i­dent re­jected his clemency pe­ti­tion.

BEANT SINGH’S AS­SAS­SI­NA­TION

AU­GUST31, 1995 Bal­want Singh Ra­joana, 46, Bab­bar Khalsa In­ter­na­tional mem­ber was the back-up sui­cide bomber in the plot to kill the then Pun­jab chief min­is­ter. The only ac­cused to vol­un­tar­ily con­fess in court. Sen­tenced to death by a CBI court in 2007, here­fused­toap­pealthe­con­vic­tion.His ex­e­cu­tion was sched­uled for March 31, 2012 but it was stayed by the Cen­tre fol­low­ing a proxy mercy plea from SGPC.

YOUTH CONGRESS OF­FICE BOMB­ING

SEPTEM­BER 11, 1993 Devin­der­pal Bhullar, 48, for­mer Khal­is­tan Lib­er­a­tion Force mil­i­tant con­victed of the at­tack on then Youth Congress chief Manin­der­jit Singh Bitta. SC dis­missed ap­peal against his death penalty in 2006 and the Pres­i­dent re­jected his mercy plea in May 2011. But on Jan­uary 31, SC stayed his ex­e­cu­tion on grounds of his “poor men­tal health” and “in or­di­nate de­lay” in ex­e­cu­tion. The Cen­tre has since in­formed SC that Bhullar won’t be hanged. The­court will now hear the case on March 10.

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