The President commuted the death sentence of Jharkhand resident Sushil Murmu to life sentence on February 9. Murmu was convicted of killing a minor and his mercy petition had been pending since 2004. There are 18 mercy pleas pending before President Pratibha Patil including that of 2001 Parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru, who is now eighth on the list.
The list was accessed by RTI activist Subhash Agarwal in response to an application asking for details of the number of people whose mercy petition has been disposed of and those pending before the President.
One of the oldest cases that have been pending before the President is that of Haryana resident Dharam Pal, whose mercy petition was filed in 1999. He is convicted of killing 5 people.
The President had last August rejected the mercy petition of assassins of former PM Rajiv Gandhi. Earlier, last May, she had rejected the mercy plea of Mahendra Nath Das alias Govinda Das. Das had severed the head of Harakanta Das (68), secretary of the Guwahati Truck Drivers Association, in Guwahati in 1996. He was sentenced to death by a session's court in 1997.
Another mercy plea rejected by the President was of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, who has been given the death penalty in a 1993 car bombing case in New Delhi.
The home ministry had submitted Afzal Guru's case to the President's Secretariat for a decision on July 27, 2011, with the recommendation that the clemency petition should be rejected.
Guru was convicted for conspiracy in the Parliament attack and the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on October 20, 2006. However, Guru's execution was stayed following a mercy petition filed by his wife. He is on death row since then.
(source: The Times of India)