The first execution under the NDA government could come any day now. President Pranab Mukherjee in July rejected the mercy pleas of six convicts in five cases, while a seventh had seen his petition rejected in October 2013. Among the latest six, however, Maharashtra sisters Seema Mohan Gavit and Renuka Shinde, as well as Assam’s Holiram Bordoloi, have moved court and their execution is on hold.
None of these has been convicted in a terror case. Two such convicts, too, are on death row: 2000 Red Fort attack convict Mohammad Arif, whose mercy petition is pending, and 1993 Bombay blasts convict Yakub Memon, whose petition the President has rejected; both have moved the Supreme Court which reserved its verdict last month.
The two hangings carried out under UPA-II were of terror case convicts Ajmal Kasab (November 2012) and Afzal Guru (February 2013). Unlike their executions, however, any hanging now cannot take place suddenly, or in secret. On January 21, a bench led by then Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam laid down guidelines requiring the government to give at least 14 days’ notice before an execution “to allow the prisoner to prepare himself… (and) have a last and final meeting with his family members”.
In the two years that he has been President, Mukherjee has rejected the mercy pleas of 31 convicts (22 cases), and pardoned one. The Supreme Court subsequently commuted the sentences of 15 convicts (9 cases). Previous president Pratibha Patil had granted clemency to 34 of 39 convicts.
Their mercy petitions all rejected..
Koli, a domestic help in businessman Moninder Singh Pandher’s home in Nithari, Noida, was convicted of rape, murder and cannibalism during 2005-2006. The trial court gave him death in five cases; Allahabad High Court confirmed it in one case; the Supreme Court upheld it in February 2011. The President rejected his mercy petition on July 20, 2014. Four days later, the Supreme Court rejected his review petition.
The resident of Manasa in Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch district was convicted of killing his wife, four daughters and son by the additional sessions judge, Manasa. The sentence was confirmed by Madhya Pradesh High Court, then upheld by the Supreme Court in September 2009. The President rejected his mercy petition on July 7, 2014.
Rajendra Prahladrao Wasnik
Wasnik took three-year-old Vandana away, ostensibly to buy her biscuits. The naked body of the child, bearing injuries, was found in the fields later. The death sentence, awarded