The Supreme Court bench of justices Dipak Misra and R.Bhanumati on January 12, allowed the Delhi High Court to hear the petition filed by Sonu Sardar, a death-row convict, lodged in Raipur Central Prison, against the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.
The Supreme Court first entertained the Transfer Petition of Chhattisgarh Government which questioned the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court, issued notice, and asked the Attorney General , Mukul Rohatgi, to assist it.
The Bench had expressed serious doubts about the Delhi High Court’s jurisdiction to hear the case earlier. However, on January 12, the bench changed its mind, and allowed the Delhi High Court to hear the case.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court had delivered a detailed order, maintaining that it has jurisdiction to hear the case.
The bench observed in its order:
In the course of hearing of the transfer petition a consensus was arrived at that regard being had to the nature of the litigation pending at Delhi High Court the matter need not be transferred to the High Court of Chhattisgarh and the Delhi High Court should be allowed to decide the Writ Petition (Crl.) No.441/2015 in Sonu Sardar Vs. Union of India and Anr. on merits keeping the question of law open that has been raised in this transfer petition. Having heard learned counsel for the parties we request the High Court to decide the Writ Petition (Crl.) No.441/2015 on its own merits within two months hence. We reiterate that the question of law that has arisen in this case is kept open to be addressed in an appropriate case. The transfer petition stands disposed of accordingly.
On January 13, the bench also dismissed the Chhattisgarh Government’s SLP against the Delhi High Court’s interim order in the case, dismissing Chhattisgarh Government’s objections that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.
Read the orders here.
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