SC refuses urgent hearing to Veerappan aides


The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to grant urgent hearing to four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan who sought a stay on the execution of their death penalty. Their lawyer, Colin Gonsalves, said they had received information that the hanging had been scheduled for Sunday.

Earlier this week, President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy petitions of the four convicts — Veerappan's elder brother Gnana-prakash, Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran — who were given the death penalty for a landmine blast that killed 22 policemen in Karnataka in 1993.

"The assistant registrar, with whom the request for urgent hearing was filed today, took the papers to the residence of CJI Altamas Kabir. Later, we were informed that there was no urgency and the matter would be heard accordingly. I hope my information about their hanging being scheduled for tomorrow is proved wrong," said Gonsalves.

In Chennai, human rights activists appealed to the prison authorities to stay the execution. The lawyers representing the four were reportedly prevented from meeting them at the Belgaum jail.

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