ONCE UPON A POLL: Fifth Lok Sabha election (1971)
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Presidential delay in mercy petitions: SC won’t reconsider verdict

A bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said they have carefully gone through the review petitions and find no merit in them.

Supreme Court had stayed the execution of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. Supreme Court had stayed the execution of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the Centre’s plea to reconsider it’s verdict on commutation of death sentence in cases of inordinate delay by the President in deciding mercy petitions. “Permission for hearing in an open court is rejected. We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petitions and the same are accordingly dismissed,” said a bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam.

By its verdit in January, the bench had ruled unexplained and inordinate delay in deciding mercy petitions of death row prisoners entitled them to clemency. As many as 14 condemned prisoners were spared the gallows by this verdict. The Centre, however, filed a review petition contending it was beyond the powers of the court to sit over an appeal in such matters since President’s power was derived from the Constitution.

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