Supreme Court asks for mercy plea details

New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the government to furnish details of all mercy petitions of death row convicts pending before the president.

An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay said they will examine pendency of all the 17 mercy petitions pending for several years before President Pratibha Patil seeking commutation of death sentences into life imprisonment.

“Keeping in view the importance of the issue and the fact that a large number of persons are not in a position to move the court, as has been done by the petitioner (Devender Pal Singh Bhullar) in this case, we have requested senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and T.R. Anghyarujina to assist the court and they have accepted,” the court said.

The court order to expand the scope of the hearing on inordinate delay in deciding on mercy pleas came in the course of a hearing of a petition by Bhullar challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the president after eight long years.

Bhullar was given capital punishment for a 1993 blast in Delhi which killed nine people.

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