SC rejected mercy plea of Veerappan aide's due to lack of proof, says lawyer

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 08:30 hrs

Senior advocate of Supreme Court, Colin Gonsalves, pleading for the condemned prisoners, said that the mercy plea of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan aide's was rejected due to lack of evidence.

The apex court on Saturday refused to hear an urgent plea of four associates of slain sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who were seeking stay on their execution, which was reportedly fixed at dawn on Sunday.

Talking to the mediapersons, Gonsalves highlighted the legalities of the apex court's decision on deferring the mercy petition.

"Yesterday, we were informed by Additional Registrar that the urgency application has been rejected. There was no urgency because we had not produced any proof that they would be hung on Sunday. It is correct, we had no proof that they would be hung on Sunday and that the petition would be heard in due course," he said.

"The main point in petition is that an ordinate delay, delay which is not explained properly by the president and by the central government in rejecting a mercy petition, that delay is a valid legal ground for a stay on execution and for commutation, from death sentence to life imprisonment," Gonsalves added.

Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the mercy pleas of four associates of late forest brigand Veerappan.

The four men Gnanprakasham, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran were sentenced to death for killing 22 people, including policemen, in Palar landmine blast case in 1993.

The designated special court at Mysore had awarded life imprisonment to all four in the case. The Karnataka government filed a petition against the verdict in Supreme Court demanding capital punishment for the accused.

Veerappan was killed in an encounter by the Tamil Nadu police in October 2004. (ANI)

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