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Reject mercy pleas of 2 convicts, Pranab told

The Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended to the President that mercy petitions of two convicts, sentenced to death for rapes and murder, be rejected.

The Supreme Court upheld their death sentence and their mercy petitions were rejected by the Maharashtra Governor. As a last resort, the convicts, Mohan Anna Chavan and Jitendra Gehlot, both lodged in Maharashtra jails, sought clemency from President Pranab Mukherjee.

The President is bound by the advice of the Council of Ministers in deciding cases of mercy petitions, the Home Ministry in this case. The decision has been endorsed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The President has so far rejected 22 mercy petitions, including that of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon, who was hanged on July 30.

Mr. Mukherjee has commuted the death sentence of only Man Bahadur Dewan from Assam’s Dibrugarh district, convicted of killing his wife, two sons and a neighbour.

The Ministry recommended that Chavan’s petition be rejected as he was convicted of rape and murder of two minor girls. The incident took place on December 14, 1999, in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. The Bombay High Court confirmed the sentence in 2002 and on May 16, 2008, the Supreme Court also upheld it. He filed a mercy plea before the Maharashtra Governor, which was also rejected.

The second case is that of Jitendra Nayansingh Gehlot, convicted of killing seven persons — five women and two children — in Pune, Maharashtra, in 1994. A trial court sentenced him to death, which was upheld by the Bombay High Court in 1999 and in 2000 by the Supreme Court.

“We have given our opinion to the President explaining our stand. The decision has been reached after going through all the relevant documents as well as the opinion given by the Maharashtra government on the subject,” said a senior Home Ministry official.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 2:19:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/reject-mercy-pleas-of-2-convicts-pranab-told/article7551067.ece

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