Chhattisgarh to witness first capital punishment after formation of state
RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh will witness the first capital
punishment soon, as the Supreme Court on February 10 dismissed a review
petition filed in by a death row convict, Sonu Sardar of Baikunthpur district
against his death sentence.
According to the Chhattisgarh police the last person hanged
to death was Baiju alias Rambharosa on October 25, 1978, in the undivided
Madhya Pradesh. He was accused of murder of four people of same family at
Gauripur at Surguja division.
The brief order uploaded on Supreme Court’s website said that
its judgment dismissing Sonu Sardar’s appeal against the death sentence does
not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration.
Raipur Central Jail DIG KK Gupta confirmed saying that Sonu
Sardar who was in Raipur jail till Friday evening and was being sent to
Baikunthpur where he would be presented before district court and the death
warrant will be released. Sardar has been in Raipur Central Jail for last 6-7
As per court sources, Sardar's counsel Raju Ramachandran
suggested before the bench of three judges that while there can be a
presumption that youth and tender age are factors which could help reformation;
it could be dislodged by the prosecution.
One of the judges Justice Chelameswar specifically agreed
with Raju Ramachandran that the fact that the convict did not participate in
the jail break could be a mitigating factor, but was reluctant to place greater
weight on the jailor's report recommending commutation of sentence for the convict
on this and other grounds, as compared to the courts' conclusion that he did
not deserve commutation.
Sardar, who was purportedly few months above the age of
minority at the time of crime, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing
five family members including two minors of a scrap dealer in Raipur on
November 26, 2004, by the trial court on February 27, 2008.
Chhattisgarh high court and Supreme Court had confirmed it on
March 8, 2010 and February 23, 2012 respectively. Supreme Court had then on
June 19, 2014 stayed execution of his death sentence.
The President had earlier rejected his mercy plea. However,
Sonu Sardar is unlikely to benefit from the delay factor in disposing his mercy
petition by the President, as all doors have been closed for him, unless the
President gives due consideration to his second mercy petition, following the
rejection of his review petition by Supreme Court.