2nd fastest decision on mercy plea
By U Anand Kumar | Published: 22nd November 2012 10:22 AM |
President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to reject the mercy petition of 25-year-old Ajmal Kasab was the second fastest decision made in this regard in the country.
Since 1981, Indian Presidents have considered and disposed of as many as 98 mercy petitions, the latest one being the mercy petition of Kasab. The fastest decision on rejecting a mercy petition was taken on the petition filed by Ravji alias Ram Chandra, who was hanged to death in 1996, in less than three years of murdering his family in 1993.
After disposing the mercy petition of Kasab, as many as 14 mercy petitions from 18 convicts were said to be pending before the President. According to the information furnished in the official website of the President, there were only 12 mercy petitions pending, including that of Kasab, as of October 30. In response to an RTI query from activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the Ministry of Home Affairs, however said that there were 15 mercy petitions pending, including that of Afzal Guru, who is on a death row for his involvement in the Parliament attack case, as of November 5.
The mercy petition of Dharam Pal from Haryana, who murdered five members of a family while on bail in a rape case, and Gurmeet Singh from Uttar Pradesh, who murdered 13 members of his family, are also pending with the President. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence to Pal in March 1999, while the President’s office received recommendation from the MHA in September 2010. The apex court upheld the death sentence on Singh in September 2005 and the Home Ministry had forwarded its recommendation to President in December 2009. Seven people were convicted and sentenced to death for murdering their own family members.