The Chhattisgarh government today said that the Delhi High Court has no jurisdiction to hear and grant a stay on the execution of a man held guilty for murder of five persons, including two children, in 2004.
The submission was made before a bench of justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel, which has reserved its decision on the application of the Chhattisgarh government challenging the maintainability of a petition filed by the convict.
The state government's counsel Atul Jha said that the Delhi High Court had "no jurisdiction" to stay execution of convict Sonu Sardar as the offence had taken place in Chhattisgarh.
The Delhi High Court had on March 2, 2015 stayed the execution of Sardar, convicted for the murder of five persons. Sardar, in his plea, has contended that his death warrant was scheduled to be signed on March 4, 2015.
After the execution was stayed, the state government had approached the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's jurisdiction to hear the matter. The apex court had asked the high court to decide the state's application in four weeks.
The apex court, however, had stayed proceedings before the high court with regard to the hearing on Sardar's plea seeking quashing of the President of India and the Chhattisgarh government's decision, by which his mercy petition was turned down.
During the arguments today, the state government said that "all proceedings till date including the present one relates to a criminal offence which took place in Chhattisgarh. The CrPC governs the territorial jurisdiction. All materials in the case are based in Chhattisgarh. Even petitioner is in Central Jail, Raipur, Chhattisgarh".
Sardar, along with his brother and accomplices, had killed five persons of a family, including a woman and two children, during a dacoity bid in Chhattisgarh's Cher village on November 26, 2004. The trial court had slapped death penalty on him and the Chhattisgarh High Court had upheld it.
The Supreme Court in February 2012 had concurred with the findings of two courts below and affirmed the punishment. His mercy petiton was also dismissed by both the state government and the President of India. In February 2015, the apex court had also rejected his review plea.
Later, the convict in March 2015 has moved the Delhi High Court against the President and the Chhattisgarh government's decision.
Sardar, in his petition, has sought that his death penalty be commuted to life imprisonment on account of delay in deciding his mercy plea as well as for allegedly keeping him in "solitary confinement illegally".