The Supreme Court has permitted a death row convict to to attend the last rites and ceremonies of his deceased mother under police escort.
Vikram Singh @ Vicky Walia and Jasvir Singh were convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of kidnapping Abhi Verma alias Harry, a school student, in Hoshiarpur, and killing him with an anesthesia overdose in 2005. The Supreme Court had confirmed their death sentences by dismissing their appeals in 2010 and the review petitions filed by them were dismissed in 2017.
After the Mercy Petition preferred by them got rejected, they approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The said writ petition was dismissed by the High Court (single bench judgment was upheld by the division bench) and thus he approached the Apex Court by filing an SLP.
Before the Apex Court, it was submitted that the mother of Vikram Singh @ Vicky Walia died on 13.11.2020 and some of the last rites including Bhog Ceremony are to be performed on 19.11.2020 and 21.11.2020 at Patiala and thus he be permitted to attend these ceremonies.
In this regard, the State Counsel submitted that there is no provision that a death convict can be released on parole. However, he suggested that he can be afforded the permission to attend the last rites and ceremonies of his deceased mother on the relevant dates from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., provided he is accompanied by the Police Escort all the time. The bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat accepted this suggestion and issued the following directives:
a) Vikram Singh @ Vicky Walia, convict in Sessions Trial No. 24 of 2005 shall be allowed to attend the last rites and ceremonies of his deceased mother on 19.11.2020 and 21.11.2020 in Police Escort;
b) the facility shall be available only from 10.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m. on the relevant dates and after 4.00 p.m., said Vikram Singh @ Vicky Walia shall be relodged in the concerned jail;
c) the facility shall be available only for the aforesaid purpose and apart from the residential address, details of which are given here, he shall not be taken to any other place. "House No.206, Street No.2, Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Patiala, Punjab."
d) utmost care shall be taken by the Police Escort in every behalf.
Case: JASBIR SINGH @ JASSA vs. STATE OF PUNJAB [ SLP (Crl.) Nos.9650-9651/2019]Coram: Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra BhatCounsel: Sr. Adv. V. Giri, AOR Jaspreet Gogia