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Kalam rejects Dhananjay's mercy petition

Onkar Singh in Delhi | August 04, 2004 10:57 IST
Last Updated: August 04, 2004 17:15 IST


President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday rejected the mercy petition of Dhananjoy Chatterjee.The President decided to reject the petition after he had discussions with legal experts, including Attorney General Milon Banerji.

A West Bengal trial court had sentenced him to death, which was confirmed by the high court and the Supreme Court, for raping and murdering 14-year-old school girl Hetal Parekh in 1990.

Sources in Rashtrapati Bhawan told rediff.com that the President signed the rejection of the mercy petition late last night.

The petition was moved by Dhananjay's wife and brother two and a half months ago. The mercy petition was sent by the home ministry for the President's consideration about a month back.

This was Dhananjoy's second mercy petition before the President. His first one was rejected on June 23, 1994.

The execution order was confirmed by a division bench of the Calcutta high court comprising Justice M K Mukherjee and Justice J N Hore on August 7, 1992.

The convict moved the Supreme Court and his appeal was dismissed by a division bench comprising Justice A S Anand and Justice N P Singh on January 11, 1994.

His review petition before the apex court was also rejected on January 20, 1994.

He then moved a mercy petition before the West Bengal Governor on February 2, 1994, which was rejected on February 16 the same year.

Following this, he had moved a mercy petition before the President, on February 17, 1994, which was rejected on June 23 the same year.

Since his death sentence in 1992 by the sessions court for the gruesome act, Dhananjoy has successfully used loopholes in the legal procedures to escape the gallows for over a decade.

Chatterjee had once before escaped the noose by a whisker in 1994, when he got a stay on his execution from the Calcutta high court and the Supreme Court.

He had moved the high court a day before February 25, 1994, the date fixed for his execution and obtained a stay from the court on the ground that he had moved a mercy petition before the President on February 17.

On the same day (February 24) his wife Purnima had moved the apex court seeking a stay on execution on the ground that she be allowed time to move a mercy petition before the President.

The apex court granted the stay for a week till March 4 and a communique was received by the West Bengal Judicial Department the same evening about the stay, just hours before the scheduled execution at 4.30 a.m the next morning.

He managed two more extensions on the stay by the high court and then an unlimited stay till disposal of his petition by the President, suppressing the fact that his wife had also obtained a stay on his execution from the apex court giving the same reason, public prosecutor for state before the high court, Kaji Safiullah.

While the mercy petition was rejected by the President on June 23, 1994, the state government did not take any step to vacate the stay by the high court, till it came to the notice of a Judicial Department officer in October 2003.

Once the high court was informed of the situation by the judicial department, the then Chief Justice A K Mathur assigned the matter to Justice D P Sengupta and the stay was vacated in November last.

An appeal against this order by Dhananjoy was also rejected by a division bench of the High Court a month later.

Dhananjoy had been convicted on three counts-- Section 302 (murder) IPC for which the execution order was given, Section 376 (rape) IPC for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment and Section 380 (theft inside house) IPC, for  which he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment.

Dhananjoy was sentenced to death on August 12, 1991, by the Second Additional Session Judge, Alipur, R N Kali.

The execution order was confirmed by a division bench of the Calcutta high court comprising Justice M K Mukherjee and Justice J N Hore on August 7, 1992.

The convict moved the Supreme Court and his appeal was dismissed by a division bench comprising Justice A S Anand  and Justice N P Singh on January 11, 1994.

His review petition before the apex court was also rejected on January 20, 1994.

He then moved a mercy petition before the West Bengal Governor on February two, 1994, which was rejected on February 16 the same year.

Following this, he had moved a mercy petition before the President, on February 17, 1994, which was rejected on June 23 the same year.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal government said it was yet to receive any formal communication from the Union law ministry about initiating the process of execution of Dhananjay Chatterjee.

"We have heard about it, but no formal communication has been received from the Centre yet," official sources said in Kolkata.

Neither the Chief Secretary nor the Home Secretary of the state were available for comment.

The office of the State Advocate General said it would take some time for the secretariat of the AG to receive a formal communication in this regard.

With inputs from Press Trust of India


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Number of User Comments: 123




Sub: dhanonjay punishment

i feel that capital punishment is the privilege of the poor as the majority of the people hanged have been from poor economic background as ...


Posted by vivek





Sub: Double punishment

Dhananjay was in prison for nearly 14 years (generally accepted term for life sentence)and then he was hanged. I would like to know which principle ...


Posted by R Kumar





Sub: Kalam rejects Dhanonjoy's plea

Since Dhanonjoy was a poor fellow he has been hanged.But what about the corrupt and influencial politicians? Even if they do numerous such kind of ...


Posted by Swati





Sub: stop that

Hi, I do not blame the President for rejecting Dhananjay's plea.There may be various reason for that,but i want to ask him how does he ...


Posted by jamie





Sub: dhananjoy\\\'s hanging

Well, justice after such a long time. may not necessarily qualify to be called justice. Dhananjoy may have suffered enough within his own conscience, and ...


Posted by ashish sinha




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