News By/Courtesy: Ayush Garg | 28 May 2020 20:13pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • apex court sought Centre’s reply on a plea seeking direction to the government to frame specific procedure, rules and guidelines for timely disposal of mercy petitions
  • There is currently no time limit for disposing clemency pleas filed before the President.
  • The bench said it was keen to explore the possibility of setting a time limit for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)

There is often controversy around the mercy plea of convicted prisoners across the country. Recently, the whole process was questioned in the mercy petition of Nirbhaya convicts. Now a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court regarding mercy petition process, rules, and guidelines.

Hearing this petition, the Supreme Court sought a reply from the Centre on a petition filed to prepare its procedure, rules, and guidelines for disposing of mercy petitions in a time-bound manner. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the Centre on the plea during the hearing through video conferencing and directed it to file its reply within four weeks.

The bench said that in this petition it can only consider directing the Ministry of Home Affairs to present mercy petition before the President within a time limit. This petition has been filed by a person named Shiv Kumar Tripathi and he has asked whether there is any time limit for disposal of mercy petition by the President.

Tripathi has argued in the petition that there are no guidelines regarding the time limit for disposal of mercy petitions. Tripathi has requested in this petition to direct the Centre to set a time limit for disposal of mercy petitions within which it should be decided. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Centre, said that time is needed to get directions and reply to this petition.

The bench said that the format of mercy petition is not important but the deadline to present it before the President is important.

The petition states that the power to grant mercy is an extraordinary right and the authority concerned should use it with great caution. According to the petition, in August 2008, while responding to a petition, the Ministry of Home Affairs had told the Central Information Commission that there is no written procedure regarding mercy petitions.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 03 Jun 2020 14:20pm IST


Tags : Supreme Court, Clemency powers

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