3-month deadline on mercy pleas: Panel
A parliamentary panel on Friday suggested a three-month deadline for the President to decide mercy petitions and asked the government not to consider such petitions in cases where victims are raped and murdered.
In its report on the Criminal laws (Amendment) Bill, tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the committee on home also supported government's view that in cases of a rape victim being left in a permanent vegetative state, the rapists be given a death sentence.
Committee chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the panel wanted to know the reasons behind former President Pratibha Patil commuting death sentence of four convicts of rape and murder cases.
"But the home ministry refused to share the details citing privilege in discussions between the home minister and the President. Hence the suggestion to make reasons public," Naidu said.
He also said the delays in clearing mercy petitions was being used by convicts to demand commuting their death sentence to life imprisonment in courts.
"Our attention was drawn to the issue of clemency given by the President of India. The committee noted that some persons convicted for rape and murder were given clemency by the President," the report said.