A month before his tenure comes to an end, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected mercy petitions in two cases, bringing the total number of mercy pleas turned down by him to 30, says a Times of India report.
The petitions, in cases of rape and murder, were rejected by him in the last week of May.
The first case was of rape and murder of a four-year-old girl in Indore by three men in 2012. The other one pertained to the gangrape and murder of a techie in Pune by a cab driver and his compliance. Both the cases were forwarded to the President in April and May.
In the Indore case, the three convicts were found guilty of kidnapping, raping and killing a four-year-old while she was watching a wedding procession.
In the Pune case, the two convicts were awarded death penalty for raping and killing a 22-year-old Wipro employee in 2007.
Mukherjee’s predecessor Pratibha Patil had granted a record of 30 pardons, over 90 per cent of India's total death sentences pardoned ever. Shockingly, 22 of those related to brutal multiple murders and gruesome crimes on children.
Article 72 of the Constitution gives the president absolute and unfettered power to grant pardon, suspend, remit or commute sentences, even in death penalty.
The President is however required to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers. Under the existing rules, the view of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is taken as the view of the Cabinet and is later forwarded to the President in writing. The President can then make a decision.