NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed seven States to furnish within 48 hours the details of the mercy petitions pending before their respective Governors failing which their Home Secretaries would have to appear before it. The erring States are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal.
A Bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice S J Mukhopadhyaya issued the directions in this regard when they found that the seven States have not yet complied with its earlier directions. Additional Solicitor General Hiren Raval brought this to the notice of the Bench. Justice Singhvi said the court would like to examine all these cases which are related to pardon and which are pending with either the President or the Governors in the States though the convicts have not moved the court for any other reason.
A quick search by Express showed that as many as 33 mercy petitions were pending either before the President or before the Home Ministry.
The mercy petitions of the following are pending:
Mohammed Afzal Guru, Murugan, Santhan, A G Perarivalan alias Ariv, Gurmeet Singh, Dharam Pal, Suresh, Ramji, Sheik Meeran, Selvam, Radhakrishnan, Sattan, Guddu, Om Prakash, Simon, Gnanprakash, Madaiah, Bilavendra, Praveen Kumar, Satish, Sushil Murmu, Saibanna, Kunwar Bahadur Singh, Karan Bahadur Singh, Lalia Dhoom, Shivlal, Jafar Ali, Sonia, Sanjeev, Sunder Singh, Bandu Baburao Tidake and Bantu, Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, and Balwant Singh Rajoana.
On December 21, 2011, Minister of State for Home Mullapally Ramachandran told the RS that a total of 20 mercy petitions were pending. However, Union Minister of State for Home, R Regupathy, had told Parliament on November 29 last year that out of the 23 pending cases, two were pending for less than a year, eight for three years and 13 for over three years.
The Bench further said it would like to examine the judicial accountability for the delay and disposal of the cases of the death row convicts at various levels.