New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil till now has cleared 13 mercy petitions out of which she has upheld three death sentences and converted 10 into life imprisonment.

Nineteen mercy pleas are still pending with the President’s Secretariat including that of the convict of Parliament attack, Afzal Guru.
In a reply to RTI application filed by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the Home Ministry stated that in her four- year- and- two month stint, (July 2007-September 2011), Patil had cleared 13 mercy petitions.

The first case is of Mahendra Nath Das from Assam convicted of murder after he had already committed the crime and was released on bail.

The second case is of Khalistani militant Devendra Pal Singh Bhullar who is convicted for his role in the September 10, 1993, bomb blast in Delhi targeting a cavalcade of the then All-India Youth Congress president Maninderjit Singh Bitta, who sustained serious injuries, though nine security personnel were killed.

Patil has dismissed the mercy pleas of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassins Murgan, Santhan and Perarivalan. However, she has converted few death penalties into life imprisonment.

JPN/Bureau