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Supreme Court commutes death sentence to 15 convicts of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins

The Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death sentence of 15 convicts, including those involved in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, to life imrprisonment.Pronouncing the judgement, the apex court said that the delay in deciding mercy plea is a relevant ground for commuting death sentence to life imprisonment. The top court also said that government cannot keep mercy petitions pending for years.

The death sentence of a prisoner cannot be executed if he is suffering from mental illness and schizophrenia and must be commuted to life, the court said.“A death convict must be hanged within 14 days after dismissal of his mercy petition,” the SC ruled.The court also said that the death convict and his family members must be informed after his mercy plea is rejected by the President or the Governor.

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