29 mercy petitions pending with the President

The president’s secretariat has disposed off 77 mercy petitions since 1981. Nine were commuted to life imprisonment.


Danish Raza | June 4, 2010

Going by the history of mercy petitions in the country, there are 12 percent chances of the president converting Afzal Guru’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

The president’s secretariat has disposed off 77 mercy petitions since 1981.

In nine of these cases, death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment.

At present, 28 mercy petitions are pending with the president’s secretariat. Out of these, 20 were filed before 2006- the year Afzal’s petition reached president office.

In 15 of these cases, the petition was resubmitted in the president’s secretariat.

The MHA gave this information as a reply to the RTI application filed by Delhi based activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal. As per the law, all mercy petitions are submitted in the president’s secretariat. Then they are examined in the MHA in consultation with the concerned state government.

After examination, it is submitted to the president’s secretariat for a final decision with the due recommendation of the union home minister.

On May 19, Delhi government had forwarded Afzal Guru’s file to lieutenant governor Tajendra Khanna. According to reports, the file is now with the MHA.

The RTI response also said that currently, the MHA is considering only two more petitions apart from Afzal Guru’s file. One relates to the death penalty awarded to four persons in Punjab who were convicted for 17 murders during a marriage function. Second case refers to Om Prakash of Uttaranchal who was awarded capital punishment for killing three members of a family.

The comments of Uttaranchal government are awaited in this case.



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