New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed till further orders the execution of death sentence of four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who were awarded capital punishment in 2004 for a landmine blast in Karnataka that left 22 police personnel dead. The bench posted the matter for Wednesday for next hearing.
"In the meantime, the execution of death sentence of four convicts shall remain stayed," a bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and justices A R Dave and Vikramajit Sen said. "Let the writ petition be heard on Wednesday," it said.
The petition on behalf of the four convicts was filed by advocate Samik Narain, who was given the liberty to amend and rectify it after objections were raised on its maintainability by Attorney General G E Vahanvati who was asked to assist the court.
Veerappan's elder brother Gnanaprakash, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran were awarded death sentence in 2004 in connection with a landmine blast at Palar in Karnataka in 1993 in which 22 police personnel were killed.
Their mercy petition was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on February 13. The four convicts are lodged in a jail in Belgaum in Karnataka.
A TADA court in Mysore had in 2001 sentenced them to life term which was enhanced to death sentence by the Apex Court.