Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of Mohamed Arif’s death sentence, December 2000 Red Fort attack convict on the grounds that he has already undergone life sentence of nearly 14 years.
Bench comprising of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph stayed the execution and referred the matter to a Constitution Bench.
Counsel appeared for the Petitioner argued that the execution of death sentence of Arif after he has already completed 13 years and four month would be violative of the constitution.
Earlier, in Shatrughan Chauhan & Anr v. Union of India Supreme Court has pronounced that Death Penalty can be commutated on the ground of delay in deciding Mercy Petition. Prior to Shatrughan Chauhan A two Judge Bench [G.S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya.JJ] in Devender Pal Singh Bhullar v. State Of N.C.T. Of Delhi by order dated 12th April 2013 dismissed his plea by holding that long delay as one of the grounds for commutation of the sentence of death into life imprisonment cannot be invoked in cases where a person is convicted for offence under TADA or similar statutes.
Following to the Guidelines issued in Shatrughan Chauhan Supreme Court has commuted Death penalty Of Rajiv Gandhi Assassins on 18th February 2014. Later, on 31st March 2014 Supreme Court also commuted Death Penalty of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar on.
On 22.12.2000 some intruders started indiscriminate firing and gunned down three army Jawans belonging to 7th Rajputana Rifles. Mohd. Arif, admittedly a Pakistani national, was arrested on December 25, 2000 in this case. He was convicted by the trial court on October 24, 2005, and awarded death sentence on October 31, 2005. His death sentence was confirmed by the Delhi High Court by an order dated September 13, 2007.
The apex court dismissed his appeal challenging the conviction on August 10, 2011, and his review petition was dismissed on August 28, 2011.
Upholding the High Court’s confirmation of Death Sentence Supreme Court by its order dated August 10 2010 observed as follows;
“It was an attack on Mother India. This is apart from the fact that as many as three persons had lost their lives. The conspirators had no place in India. Appellant was a foreign national and had entered India without any authorization or even justification. This is apart from the fact that the appellant built up a conspiracy by practicing deceit and committing various other offences in furtherance of the conspiracy to wage war against India as also to commit murders by launching an unprovoked attack on the soldiers of Indian Army. We, therefore, have no doubts that death sentence was the only sentence in the peculiar circumstance of this case. We, therefore, confirm the judgment of the trial Court and the High Court convicting the accused and awarding death sentence for the offences under Section 302, IPC”.