The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of death sentence awarded to Manoharan, a rape and murder accused, which it had confirmed recently.
The Supreme Court (2:1) had upheld the death sentence awarded to a man involved in gang rape of a ten year old girl and thereafter murdering her and her brother.
Thereafter, Manoharan had filed review petition.
When the case was posted on September 17, the counsel sought adjournment stating the records need to be inspected. The counsel also added that Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra was appearing in the matter, and could not come on that day.
Based on that the, bench adjourned the hearing, saying :
List the matter on 16th October, 2019, at 3 p.m. as a last opportunity for oral arguments in terms of our judgment, the bench said while staying the execution till then.
The next day, Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra made a mention before the bench that he yet to be briefed in the matter, and that the submission by the counsel on the previous day happened due to misunderstanding. He was merely asked about his willingness to appear in the case by the counsel on the previous day in Court and he agreed to do as a legal aid. However, he was yet to be briefed in the matter, clarified Senior Advocate Luthra. The senior counsel added that he will assist the Court in the matter on the date fixed. Accordingly, the Court passed a modified order on September 18.
Mohanakrishnan, a priest, and Manoharan were accused of the heinous crime of causing death of minor children. Mohanakrishnan was killed in a police encounter. Manoharan was tried and sentenced to death by the Trial Court, which was later confirmed by the Madras High Court. The appeal filed by Manoharan against the High Court judgment was dismissed by a three judge bench comprising of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sanjeev Khanna.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna had dissented with the majority view which upheld death penalty. He was scheduled to be hanged on September 20, 2019.
Read the order passed on September 17 here
Read the modified order passed on September 18 here