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Assam High Court stays murder convict’s execution
Published on 8 Jun. 2011 12:07 AM IST
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The Gauhati High Court Tuesday stayed the execution of condemned murder convict Mahendra Nath Das while directing the Assam and central governments to explain a delay of 12 years in rejecting a mercy petition filed by his family, a lawyer said.
“The court admitted a writ of habeus corpus filed by the mother of Das and stayed the execution order,” Arup Barbora, counsel of Kusumbala Das, mother of the condemned prisoner, told journalists.
“It issued notices to the union home ministry and the state home department to explain by June 17 as to why there was a delay of 12 years in rejecting the mercy petition,” he said.
Barbora was assisted by Yug Choudhury, a lawyer from the Mumbai High Court and a civil rights campaigner.
Das, currently lodged at the central jail in Jorhat, about 300 km east of Assam’s main city of Guwahati, murdered 68-year-old Harakanta Das April 24, 1996, in Guwahati.
After the crime, Das surrendered to police.
A local sessions court in 1997 sentenced him to death. His appeals in higher courts against the death sentence were rejected. His plea for clemency was turned down by the president May 27.
“We are happy and heaving a sigh of relief after the court order. We hope he would be spared the gallows,” said the 74-year-old mother of the convict.

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