Poll: Should practice of filing repeated mercy pleas be stopped?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2015 14:06 IST

A day after Yakub Memon -- the sole death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case set to be hanged on July 30 -- filed a fresh clemency petition before Maharashtra governor, the Centre and the Supreme Court on Wednesday engaged in a debate questioning the filing of repeated mercy pleas.

The Centre told a constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu that the practice of filing repeated mercy pleas should be stopped. The bench was hearing the Centre’s plea against Tamil Nadu’s decision to remit the life sentences and prematurely release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

In an oblique reference to Memon’s case, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar told the bench, “There must be finality to the case after the President or the Governor rejects the mercy plea and courts also dismiss their appeals. Repeated filing of mercy pleas frustrates the principle of finality.”

Kumar added if the practice of allowing mercy petitions to be filed repeatedly is allowed “the whole procedure will be endless and it is a misuse of the provisions”.

Memon’s curative petition before the SC was rejected by a bench headed by the CJI on Tuesday, paving the way for his execution. But within hours, he filed a personal mercy petition before Maharashtra governor. His lawyers said the first clemency plea rejected by the President last year, was moved by his brother.

Do you support the government's stand that the practice of filing repeated mercy pleas should be stopped?

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