Dailybhaskar.com | Apr 04, 2013, 10:18AM IST
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee is using his powers under Article 72 of the Constitution to decide the fate of convicts awaiting death sentence.
According to reports, the President does not have any mercy petition pending before him and for this reason he is acting upon the mercy petitions putforth by death-row convicts unlike his predecessors.
On Wednesday, the president upheld fate of nine people convicted for heinous crimes while commuting death sentence to life term in two others. The decision was taken after the home ministry recommended rejection of mercy pleas in five cases and left two cases open for commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment with a rider that the life term should mean jail for the entire life of the convict and not just 20 years or 14 years in prison, claimed the report carried by Times of India.
The mercy files have been pending for years while moving to and fro between the President House and the home ministry, causing mental stress to both the convict and the victim's family. Since, he took over, Mukherjee has rejected mercy petitions in two high-profile cases - Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru were sent to gallows within less than three months. Mukherjee had rejected the mercy plea of Kasab on November 5 and of Afzal on February 3.
The report claimed that the President has disposed off eight death row convicts in five cases since he took over the office.
Source: http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/NAT-TOP-tired-of-backlog-president-pranab-expedites-mercy-plea-of-death-row-convicts-4225923-NOR.html (accessed on 5th April 2013)