MHA rejects Kasab’s mercy plea

ANIL ANAND

New Delhi, Oct, 23: Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday rejected mercy plea of the only surviving militant Ajmal Kasab involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Accordingly, the Ministry sent its recommendation to President Pranab Mukherjee for further action.
 According to legal experts, there is no provision in the law that binds the President to accept the Home Ministry’s recommendation in this regard.
 The Home Ministry’s action is being seen as a follow up to the stand taken by Maharashtra Home Department. It had strongly recommended to the President to reject the mercy petition. Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam has welcomed the development, saying "President has to study the recommendation of MHA. It's a positive phase in the case. It's a good development,” he observed.
 The mercy plea has been rejected by the Ministry a month after the lone surviving perpetrator of 26/11 attacks has started the process to exact the last option available to him to save himself from the gallows.
 A four-line handwritten letter written in Urdu, seeking to be spared from his death sentence reads: 'Respected President of India, I have been given a death sentence. I request you to show mercy, and spare me this punishment.'
 Earlier, on August 29, the Supreme Court had upheld the Bombay High Court verdict to hang the lone surviving militant in the Mumbai attack, which was termed as 'waging a war against the Indian state'.
 Article 72 of the Constitution empowers President to pardon, grant reprieve or suspend, remit, commute sentence of person convicted of any offence. The President is empowered to reject his mercy plea or pardon him
 In case of his mercy plea being rejected, Kasab would be the 52nd person to be hanged in India since 1947. During the last decade (1990-2000), the Indian President rejected seven mercy petitions and commuted the sentences of two, while in the previous decade (1980-89) out of 45 mercy petitions, 41 were rejected and four commuted.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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