Convicted couple demands common cell to procreate

Haryana map
Chandigarh, Mar 10: A couple convicted of murdering a teenager has made a strange request to the Punjab and Haryana High court. They want conjugal rights in prison to get a child before the man is executed.

Jasvir Singh and his wife Sonia, who kidnapped and murdered 16-year-old Harry Verma for ransom at Hoshiarpur in 2005, are currently lodged in separate wings of the jail.

Singh has been given the death sentence while Sonia has received a life-term for the crime. The couple now wants a common cell so that they can have a child before Jasvir is hanged to death. However, Ravi Verma, the father of the teenager has challenged the couple's petition in the High Court.

"When we had come to know that the culprits have filed a petition in the High Court through their father, seeking conjugal rights to have a child, we have moved the High Court. We will fight it tooth and nail," Verma said.

"Why do they want to have a child? They have destroyed my family. They have killed my son. Now they are worried about their family," he said.

The High Court has appointed an amicus curiae to assist the court arrive at a decision. Gursharan Kaur Mann, counsel for Jasvir and Sonia, said that the right to procreate survives in imprisonment also.

Even if the person has been sentenced to death, his rights will remain same, Mann said. Besides Jasvir and Sonia their accomplice Vikram Walia, was also given death sentence by the Hoshirapur district and sessions court in December. The Supreme Court had reduced Sonia's sentence to life-term.

The couple had been married for eight months when they kidnapped Harry in a car on February 14, 2005, while he was on his way to school. Harry's abductors had demanded a ransom of Rs 50 lakh.

But even as negotiations were on, his naked body was dumped near Adampur town, 20 km from Hoshiarpur. Walia, who had masterminded the crime and knew the boy's family well even met Harry's father after the abduction.

Police, who tracked the boy's kidnappers to an isolated house on the outskirts of the town, could only recover his body later from another spot. He had already died after his abductors injected an overdose of a tranquilliser into him. They dumped his body, but continued the ransom drama till police caught up with them.


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