Supreme Court asks states for details of pending mercy pleas

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The supreme court here Wednesday directed the home secretaries of all states to send all records pertaining to the pending mercy petitions to the union home secretary...

The supreme court here Wednesday directed the home secretaries of all states to send all records pertaining to the pending mercy petitions to the union home secretary.

The court directed that these records should be sent through special messengers within three days.

The apex court bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi gave this direction after central government counsel Siddharth Dave told the court that the centre could file details of the mercy petitions pending with the president but cannot file the details of the mercy petitions pending with the state governments in the absence of response from them.

When the court inquired whether any effort was made by the union home ministry to collect the records, Dave told the court that the union home secretary has written to all state governments seeking relevant data, but there was no response.

Dave assured the court that the data would be placed before it next week.

The court direction came in the course of the hearing of a mercy petition by Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, who challenged the rejection of his mercy petition on the grounds of inordinate delay in deciding it.

At the last hearing, the court had said it will hear the cases of all convicts who were awarded the death sentence but could not move the court for lack of resources or due to ignorance.

The matter will come up for hearing on March 1.