While on one hand the nation debates the delay in deciding mercy petition of death row convicts, here is an interesting case from Bihar where the mercy petitions have gone missing. The National Human Rights Commission is seized off a complaint filed by the Asian Centre for Human Rights on this issue.
The complaint states that there is no trace of the mercy petitions of Krishna Mochi, Nanhe Lal Mochi, Bir Kuer Paswan and Dharmendra Singh. These men were awarded the death penalty for killing of 35 persons belonging to the Bhumihar community at Bara village in Gaya district of Bihar on the night of 13 February 1992.
On 8 June 2001, the sessions judge, Gaya-cum-Designated Court under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 found them guilty and awarded death sentence. On 15 April 2002, the Supreme Court confirmed their death sentence.
The complaint further states that the prison authorities claimed that Krishna Mochi, Nanhe Lal Mochi, Bir Kuer Paswan and Dharmendra Singh filed mercy petitions with the President of India on 3 March 2003.
However, the “list of mercy petition cases since 1981” received from the President of India by Asian Centre for Human Rights on 28 March 2013 does not show the names of Krishna Mochi, Nanhe Lal Mochi, Bir Kuer Paswan and Dharmendra Singh.
In fact, the President has not considered the mercy pleas of these four death row convicts till date.
The apparent loss of mercy pleas of the death row convicts shows the utter callousness of the government of India in handling cases involving life and death. It is perverse and absolute abuse of power, points out Suhas Chakma, director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.