Supreme Court stands by its verdict on commuting death sentence due to delay

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Supreme Court stands by its verdict on commuting death sentence due to delay
New Delhi:  The Supreme Court today dismissed the Centre's plea seeking review of its January 21 order which said that unexplained and inordinate delay in deciding the mercy petition of death row convicts is grounds for commuting their sentence to life imprisonment.

"We have gone through the petition and the connected papers and we find no merit in it. Accordingly we dismiss it," the court observed today.

While pronouncing its verdict in January, the court had commuted the sentences of 15 death row convicts and accepted that that prolonged imprisonment of a convict awaiting execution amounts to cruelty and violates the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Later, the top court also commuted the death sentence of three assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Today's decision is likely to result in the court rejecting the Centre's review plea in the case.


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