Dispose mercy petitions in three months: Parl panel
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Amid demands of death for rapists, a Parliamentary panel today suggested that President should not consider clemency pleas in rape and murder cases and said mercy petitions should be disposed off within three months and reasons for granting clemency should be made public.
In its report tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the Standing Committee on Home also recommended publicising the names of sex offenders after conviction. It has supported government's view that in cases the rape victim either dies or is left in a vegetative state, the rapist be given death sentence.
However, following differences it did not recommend reducing the age of juveniles.
The Committee in its report on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 said, "Application for clemency should not be considered in rape and murder cases."
It also said mercy petitions should be disposed off within three months and reasons for granting clemency should be made public.
Committee Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the panel had wanted to know the reasons behind former President (Pratibha Patil) commuting death sentence of four convicts of rape and murder cases.
But the Home Ministry refused to share the details citing privilege in discussions between the Home Minister and the President. "Hence the suggestion to make reasons public," he said.
He also said the delays in clearing mercy petitions was being used by convicts to demand commuting their death sentence to life imprisonment in courts.
"The attention of the Committee was drawn to the issue of clemency given by the President of India. The Committee noted that some persons convicted for rape and murder were given clemency by the President," the report said.
Article 72 gives power to the President to grant pardons, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.
"The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence," the Article says.
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