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Posted on Feb 20, 01:04PM | IBNS
New Delhi, Feb 20 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the stay on the execution of four associates of slain sandalwood smuggler Veerappan for six weeks, said reports.
Their hanging is stayed till the case was heard by the Chief Justice of India.
Earlier on Monday, the SC had stayed till Wednesday the execution of four associates- Gnana Prakasam, Simon, Meesakaara Madiah and Bilavendran, who are now facing death row at the Belgaum Central Jail in Karnataka.
Earlier, the court had refused to hear on priority the clemency petitions of the four who then moved the apex court for a stay through a human rights lawyer.
The apex court had then stayed the execution till Feb 20 but said that such application should be filed by the convicts themselves.
The four had appealed to the court on Saturday to hear their plea for a stay on their execution on priority, expressing fear that they could be hanged as early as Sunday.
The convicts want the execution to be commuted to life term.
President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy pleas of the four associates of Veerappan.
In 2004, the Supreme Court had awarded death sentence to the four associates of Veerappan in connection to the killing of 21 policemen in a landmine blast in Karnataka in 1993.
A Mysore court had earlier awarded life term to them.
Appealing against the life term, the Karnataka government had moved the Supreme Court and filed a petition.
They filed the mercy pleas in 2004.