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Supreme Court grants parole to death row convict to perform last rites of mother on Nov 19, 21 under police escort

New Delhi (ILNS):  The Supreme Court has allowed parole to a death row convict, allowing him to perform the last rites of his deceased mother under police convoy.

The court in its order allowed the convict Vikram Singh alias Vicky Walia to attend the last rites on November 19 and November 21, adding that the facility shall be made available only from 10 am to 4 pm on the relevant dates.

The court was informed that Vicky’s mother had passed away on November 13 and some of the last rites including the bhog ceremony, to be performed on November 19 and November 21. Therefore, permission was sought for Vicky to attend those ceremonies.

The three-judge bench of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat passed this order on the special leave petition arising out of final judgment and order dated August 19, passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court last year.

Vicky, son of Gurjinder Singh, along with two others, was found guilty of the offences punishable under Sections 302, 364-A, 201 and 120B of the IPC and was sentenced to death by the sessions court in Hoshiarpur.

The death sentence was confirmed by the high court in its judgment on May 30, 2008. The court also upheld the death sentence in criminal appeal nos.1396-97 of 2008 by the judgment dated January 25, 2010.

Mercy petitions preferred by Vicky were also rejected by the single judge of the high court on July 26, 2019.

The matter was carried in appeal by preferring letters patent appeal no.1395 of 2019, which was dismissed by the division bench as not being maintainable, which is currently under challenge in this special leave petition.

Jaspreet Gogia, advocate appearing for the State, had submitted that as per the Punjab jail manual, there is no provision that a death convict can be released on parole. He further maintained that in the peculiar facts and circumstances Vicky could be afforded the permission to attend the last rites and ceremonies of his deceased mother on the relevant dates from 10 am to 4 pm, provided he was accompanied by a police escort all the time.

The court, while accepting the suggestion, passed the following order:

“A) Vikram Singh alias Vicky Walia, convict in sessions trial no. 24 of 2005 shall be allowed to attend the last rites and ceremonies of his deceased mother on November 19 and November 21, in Police escort; b) the facility shall be available only from 10.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m. on the relevant dates and after 4.00 p.m. Vikram Singh alias Vicky Walia shall be re-lodged in the concerned jail; c) the facility shall be available only for the aforesaid purpose and apart from the residential address, details of which are given here, he shall not be taken to any other place. House No.206, Street No.2, Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Patiala, Punjab. d) Utmost care shall be taken by the Police Escort in every behalf.”

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The court has also ordered to file a compliance affidavit before November 27, while posting the matter on December 2, for further consideration.

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