In the first case of presidential pardon by Pranab Mukherjee after assuming office, the death sentence of a convict has been commuted to life imprisonment.
Atbir was sentenced to death by a sessions court in 2004 for the murder of his step mother, step sister and step brother over a property dispute in 1996. The decision was upheld by the high court and Supreme Court in August 2010.
In June this year, the home ministry recommended that the President should commute the sentence to life imprisonment.
The President disposed of the petition on November 15 -- commuting the death sentence given to him to life imprisonment -- according to the details of mercy pleas given on the President's website.
On November 5, the President had rejected the mercy plea of Ajmal Kasab, who was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in August last year for waging a war against the country and killing 166 people in a terror attack in Mumbai in 2008.
According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee has sent nine mercy petitions to the ministry of home affairs for further consideration.
These include mercy pleas of Afzal Guru, who was convicted for attacking Parliament, in which nine people were killed and 16 were injured.
There is now only one mercy petition -- that of Saibanna Ningappa Natikar -- pending before the President.
The Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence of Natikar, who had killed his wife and daughter, in 2005. The MHA has already sent its recommendation on November 5 to the President's secretariat for decision.