Home > News > PTI
President, SC stay rapist-murderer's hanging
June 24, 2004 17:48 IST
Last Updated: June 24, 2004 18:22 IST
Dhananjay Chatterjee, who was to be hanged on Friday for the rape and murder of a teenaged girl, got a brief respite because the President has sought the Union home ministry's opinion on his mercy petition.
In Kolkata, West Bengal's Advocate-General Balai Roy told mediapersons that a communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said, "The President is considering this application for clemency."
Friends, relatives and some jail inmates have pleaded that Chatterjee's death sentence be changed to life imprisonment. The state had been asked to stay the execution until the President decides on the application.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also stayed the hanging for two days to enable the West Bengal government counsel to take instructions from the state government and report back to the court.
Chatterjee's brother on Thursday moved the apex court challenging the West Bengal governor's order rejecting the convict's mercy petition.
A vacation bench of Justice K G Balakrishanan and Justice P V Reddy heard the petition, filed by Bikas Chatterjee and one Bikramjeet Batra, in a special sitting and fixed the next date of hearing for 1400 IST Friday, petitioner's counsel Colin Gonsalves and West Bengal government standing counsel Tara Chandra Sharma told reporters in Delhi.
The petitioner had challenged the governor's June 2, 2004 order on the ground of 'non-application of mind as to the mitigating circumstances' of the case. The governor has gone solely by the nature of the crime committed, as he was not appraised of the material facts of the case. The mercy petition, they said, was dismissed without following established procedure.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had upheld a Calcutta high court verdict confirming the death sentence on Chatterjee delivered in January 1994 for the rape and murder of Hetal Parekh on March 5, 1990 in a flat in Kolkata's Bhawanipur area. He is to be hanged until dead at the Alipur Central Jail in Kolkata.