New Delhi: Out of seven people convicted for heinous crimes, President Pranab Mukherjee upheld execution in five cases commuting death sentence to life term in two others, media reports said. Details of the President's decision on the pending mercy petitions were not available immediately.
Seven cases of multiple murders, including one in which a rape convict, Dharampal, went on to murder five members of the victim's family when he was released on parole, were sent to the President for his final decision in February.
The cases involved nine persons in all.
Media reports said that the home ministry had recommended the rejection of mercy pleas in five cases and left two cases open for commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment with a rider that the life term should mean jail for the entire life of the convict and not just 20 years or 14 years in prison.
Under Article 72 of the Constitution, the President has the power to 'grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases'.
No more mercy files are pending to be cleared by the President.
The mercy files have been fast-tracked by the President since the time he took over resulting in two quick executions of 26/11 convict Pakistani Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.
The convicts whose mercy petitions were sent to the President were:
- Dharampal from Haryana who had murdered five members of the family of a girl he had raped in 1993.
- Sonia, daughter of a former Haryana MLA and her husband Sanjeev, who drugged and killed eight of her family in Hisar in 2001 including her parents.
- Sunder Singh from Uttarakhand, who was convicted for rape and murder on June 30, 1989.
- Jafar Ali from Uttar Pradesh killed wife and five daughters in 2002.
- Praveen Kumar from Karnataka was convicted for killing four members of a family on February 23, 1994.
- Gurmeet Singh from Uttar Pradesh killed 13 members of a family on August 17, 1986.
- Suresh and Ramji, also from Uttar Pradesh, were convicted for killing five members of their younger brother's family.