Only six states respond on pending mercy pleas

March 15th, 2012 - 12:09 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Only six states have responded to the Supreme Court order seeking details of the mercy petitions pending with them.

The court had given them three days after its Feb 22 direction to furnish the details.

Only six states responded to a letter sent by Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval to the chief secretaries and home secretaries of the states.

The six states are Assam, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya Feb 22, 2012, said: “The home secretaries of all the states are directed to forward the relevant records to the counsel representing the Union of India through special messenger within three days of receipt of communication, written or telephonic from the additional solicitor general.”

The court sought this information after it Nov 15, 2011, while hearing a petition by a death row convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, expanded the scope of the hearing.

Apart from Bhullar the court included even those cases wherein there was inordinate delay in deciding mercy petitions but due to ignorance and other reasons the petitioners could not move the court for relief.

Bhullar moved the apex court challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the president after eight years.

Bhullar was given capital punishment for a 1993 blast in Delhi which killed nine people. Bhullar who had filed his mercy petition in Jan 14, 2003 and the same was rejected by the president May 25, 2011.

Assam, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Mizoram said that there was no mercy petition before the state government.

Gujarat said that there were “20 persons who have been awarded death sentence and their appeals are pending with the High Court of Gujarat. No mercy petition have been filed by any of these convicts”.

The Uttar Pradesh government in its reply said that there were “about nine convicts facing death sentence”.

The government said that the governor has taken decision in all the cases barring one that being of Surrender Kohli whose case is pending since May 7, 2011.

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