NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected mercy petitions of the convicts in two more cases who were awarded capital punishment.
With the latest count, President Mukherjee has so far rejected 30 mercy petitions in his term which is going to complete on July 24.
According to reports, the latest petitions were rejected by the President in the last week of May.
Both the convicts were awarded capital punishment in rape and murder cases. One of the cases was of a four-year-old girl from Indore who was raped and murdered by three men in 2012. While in the other case, a Pune-based techie was gang-raped and killed by her taxi driver and his friend in 2007.
Babu alias Ketan, Jitendra alias Jitu and Devendra alias Sunny were found guilty in the 2012 Indore case, while Purushottam Dasharath Borate and Pradeep Yashvant Kokade were convicted in the 2007 Pune case.
The 30 petitions rejected by the President include those of 2008 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab, 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and those by Simon, Gnanaprakash, Madaiah and Bilavandran — associates of the notorious Indian brigand Veerappan.
A President can grant pardon, and suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
Different Presidents have dealt with mercy petitions differently. R Venkataraman (1987-1992) rejected a maximum number of 44 mercy petitions in his tenure. APJ Abdul Kalam decided on only two of the two dozen mercy petitions forwarded to him. His predecessor, K R Narayanan did not decide on a single mercy petition during his 1997-2002 tenure. Mukherjee’s predecessor Pratibha Patil had accepted the mercy pleas of 30 death row convicts.