No reason for delay

The government failed to explain before the Supreme Court the delay of over 11 years in the disposal of mercy petitions filed by the three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Curiously, the convicts’ plea remained pending in the Home Ministry as the files were lying in the drawer of some official for over five years. Over five years' delay in the President’s office too could not be explained, admitted Attorney General G E Vahanvati before the apex court.

The apex court noted that after rejection of petitioners’ mercy petitions by the Governor on April 25, 2000, they were forwarded to the Union Home Ministry, on May 4, 2000. Ultimately, the President, on August 12, 2011, rejected the mercy petitions after more than 11 years.

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