ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Oppose Death Penalty

Saibanna Ningapappa Natikar is at an imminent risk of execution. He had petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee for mercy, but the President rejected the petition on 4 January 2013. He was sentenced to death in 2005 for the 1994 murder of his second wife and daughter. At the time of the crime, he had been free on parole from a life sentence for the murder of his first wife. The Supreme Court rejected an appeal in 2005.

Fourteen former judges recently asked the President to commute the death sentences of Saibanna Ningapappa Natikar and 12 others as they had been wrongly imposed. The judges pointed out that the reasoning underlying the Supreme Court’s confirmation of Saibanna’s death sentence in 2005 implied that capital punishment was mandatory for any prisoner convicted of a second offence that merited a life sentence, and violated a Supreme Court decision from 1983. The Supreme Court had itself acknowledged the error in its reasoning on Saibanna’s case in 2009.

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