The Sharjah Police had arrested Sandeep for murdering his compatriot, Mandeep Singh, on November 11, 2007.
An Indian man, who was on death row for murdering a compatriot over bootlegging, has travelled back to his home country a free man. Thanks to the efforts of a Dubai-based philanthropist, Punjab native Sandeep Singh has been reunited with his family 10 years after he was jailed.
There were emotional scenes and tears when Sandeep's family members welcomed him after he landed at the Amritsar international airport in Punjab on Tuesday. His two sisters and four brothers were at the airport to receive him with flowers and sweets.
All odds were stacked against Sandeep, 45, as a Sharjah court had sentenced him to death and the higher courts had upheld the verdict after the victim's family refused blood money initially. But Dr S.P. Singh Oberoi, head of Sarbat Da Bhala charitable trust, managed to convince the family to accept the blood money and pardon the convict. However, due to some documentation problems, it took six more years to get Sandeep released.
The Sharjah Police had arrested Sandeep for murdering his compatriot, Mandeep Singh, on November 11, 2007. He had committed the crime one year after he came to the UAE.
After standing trial, the Sharjah Court of First Instance awarded him the death penalty in 2008. Sandeep appealed the verdict and the Sharjah Appeals Court commuted the sentence to life in jail in 2009. However, the Sharjah Public Prosecution appealed the sentence at the Federal Supreme Court, which referred the case back to the appellate court. In 2010, the appellate court sentenced him to death.
Oberoi approached the Sharjah Appeals Court and asked for a grace period to negotiate with the victim's family as they were not ready to accept the blood money at the time.
In December 2012, Oberoi managed to convince the family and paid them the blood money. In 2013, he submitted attested documents of the compromise at the Sharjah courts and the supreme court.
In April 2018, the supreme court asked for amendments to be made to the compromise papers, which were done and submitted again.
In the same month, the Sharjah Appeals Court judges commuted the death penalty to three years in jail. Since he had completed more than 10 years in jail, Sandeep was ordered to be released. However, as one clause was missing from the compromise document, the court asked for a fresh set of papers.
After this was done, the court issued his release order on July 22. The Indian Consulate issued travel documents for Sandeep and he flew back to India on Tuesday.
How the case unfolded
November 2007: Sandeep Singh is arrested for murdering Mandeep Singh over bootlegging row
2008: Sharjah Court of First Instance awards him the death penalty
2009: Sharjah Appeals Court commutes death penalty to life in jail
2010: Federal Supreme Court refers case back to Sharjah Appeals Court, which awards him death penalty
December 2012: Dr S.P. Singh Oberoi manages to convince victim's family to accept blood money and pardon Sandeep
2013: Dr Singh submits documents of compromise
April 2018: Supreme court asks for amendments to be made to the compromise papers
April 2018: Sandeep's death sentence is commuted to three years in prison
July 2018: Sandeep's release orders are issued
SOURCE : KHALEEJTIMES