TNN | Mar 28, 2015, 06.38AM IST NEW DELHI: The death sentence of a murder convict from Assam has been commuted to life imprisonment by President Pranab Mukherjee. This is one of the rare cases where Mukherjee has commuted the death sentence after becoming President in 2012. The relief to the condemned prisoner came after the President rejected mercy petitions of 22 death row convicts at a stretch. The President commuted the death sentence of Man Bahadur Dewan, alias Tote Dewan, from Assam's Dibrugarh district, to life imprisonment, sources said.
Dewan was sentenced to death for killing his wife Gauri and two minor sons, Rajib and Kajib, in September 2002. He had also killed one of his neighbours, Bidhimaya, and surrendered before the police after the multiple murders. The death sentence of 1993 blast convict Yakub Menon, whose mercy petition was rejected by the President, has been stayed by the Supreme Court. Nithari serial rape and murder convict Surender Koli's mercy petition, too, was rejected by Mukherjee. In Dewan's case, Mukherjee is believed to have relied upon the opinion of the home ministry which had advised him to take a lenient view of the case. The ministry is learnt to have advised Mukherjee that Dewan was from a poor background and murdered his wife, sons and a neighbour due to abject poverty and unemployment.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-22-rejections-President-commutes-death-sentence-of-Assam-man-who-killed-four/articleshow/46722185.cms [last accessed 09 April 2015]