SC asks Centre to place on record details of mercy petitions

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhya passed the direction while dealing with the plea filed by Punjab terrorist Devender Pal Singh Bhullar challenging the 8- year delay by the Centre in deciding his mercy petition.

The apex court asked Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal to file a compilation of the petitions before it and also appointed senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and T R Andhiarujina as amicus curiae to assist the court on the issue.

The bench said it wanted to expand the scope of the petition since not every convict can afford the legal expenses of senior lawyers.

"There may be some who can afford to have senior lawyers. But there are 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 the governors," the bench said while passing the direction.

The bench wanted the additional solicitor general to file the status report relating the date from which the mercy petitions are pending at different stages.

According to a report submitted by the Centre, 17 mercy petitions are pending before the President.

Bhullar was awarded death penalty for triggering a blast here in September 1993 killing nine people and injuring to 29 others which was aimed at Youth Congress leader M S Bitta.

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