The Supreme Court on Tuesday expanded the scope of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar's petition and directed the centre to place before it a record of mercy petitions filed by death row convicts before the President and state governors.
Bhullar, a death-row convict, has moved the SC challenging the President's decision to reject his mercy petition. Found guilty of participating in a bomb blast that killed nine people and injured 29 in September 1993, Bhullar has assailed the President's decision on the ground that there was an eight-year-old delay in deciding on his mercy petition. He has also sought fixing of a time-frame to decide mercy petitions.
A bench headed by justice GS SInghvi directed additional solicitor general Harin
Rawal to file a compilation of such petitions and also appointed senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and Andhiarujina as amicus curiae (to assist the court).
The court took a decision to expand the scope as "not every convict could afford legal expenses of senior lawyers."
"There may be some who can afford to have senior lawyers. But there are a number of people who are not represented before us. We would like Mr Rawal to file a compilation of the number of such mercy petitions before the President and governors," ordered the bench. The compilation would contain status report of each mercy pending including its filing date.