President Pranab Mukherjee Rejects 2 More Mercy Pleas, Total Count Stands At 30

The 30 clemency pleas rejected by 81-year-old President Mukherjee include those of 2008 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab, 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru

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President Pranab Mukherjee Rejects 2 More Mercy Pleas, Total Count Stands At 30

President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.

New Delhi:  President Pranab Mukherjee rejected two mercy petitions in the last week of May. The dismissal of the appeals comes just weeks before his term ends and takes the total number of mercy petitions rejected by him to 30. The cases involved the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl by three men in Indore in 2012, and a 22-year-old woman in Pune in 2007. The convicts had urged the President to commute the death penalty awarded to them.

In Indore, the convicts had kidnapped the young girl from outside her relative's house in Nehru Nagar area. After raping the girl, they strangled her and dumped the body in a drain. Jitendra, Babu and Sanni were given a death sentence by an Indore court a year after the crime was committed. The sentence was upheld by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in 2014 and by the apex court on January 6, 2015.

In the Pune case, the convicts, cab driver Purushottam Dashrath Borate and his accomplice Pradeep Yeshwant Kokade, raped and murdered the woman, who was on her way to office for a night shift. The trial court had awarded death penalty to the two which was confirmed by the Bombay High Court and upheld by the Supreme Court on May 8, 2015.

There is no time limit for the President to decide on a mercy petition. According to the official website of the President's secretariat, there are no more mercy petitions pending as of June 14.

The 30 clemency pleas rejected by 81-year-old President Mukherjee include those of 2008 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab, 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and Simon, Gnanaprakash, Madaiah and Bilavandran - associates of Veerappan among others.

Kasab, the face of the dastardly 26/11 terror strike on Mumbai who was hanged in November 2012, had begged for "daya" (mercy) from the President through his four-line clemency plea written in elementary Urdu that he sent to him in September.

Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013 after the President rejected a petition filed by his wife requesting that his sentence be commuted to life in prison. He was convicted for his role in the attack on Parliament in December 2001 and was executed and buried at Delhi's Tihar Jail.

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President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24. Voting for the next president is scheduled on July 17, while the counting will take place on July 20. The BJP is trying to get the opposition on board to put forward a common candidate. If that happens, an election will not be held.

(With inputs from PTI)

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