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Prez will decide rapist-murderer's fate

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June 25, 2004 15:40 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition challenging an order of the West Bengal governor rejecting the mercy petition of Dhanajoy Chatterjee, sentenced to death for rape and murder of a school girl in Kolkata in 1990.

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"In view of the fact that the President of India is seized of the matter under Article 72 of the Constitution, we close the matter at this stage," a vacation bench of Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P V Reddi said.

The order came after West Bengal's standing counsel Tarachandra Sharma told the court that the state government has received a communication from the Union Home Ministry that the President is considering the mercy petition filed by the convict's family and others. The execution scheduled for Friday morning has already been stayed.

The petitioner's counsel Colin Gonsalves cited a ruling of the apex court in a similar case and urged the court to either keep the petition alive or at least give liberty to the petitioner, Bikash Chatterjee, the convict's brother, to agitate the issue at a later stage, if necessary.

The court, however, closed the matter.


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