29 May 2011

Presidential assent given for death sentence

8:01 am on 29 May 2011

President Pratibha Patil of India has rejected the mercy petitions of two convicts on death row, clearing the way for their executions.

The death penalty is rarely given in India and is often delayed indefinitely or commuted by the president.

The BBC reports this is the first time since 2004 that the presidential assent has been given for the death sentence.

Mercy petitions are accepted or rejected by the president only after seeking the advice of the cabinet.

Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar from Punjab was sentenced to death in August 2001 for ''plotting terror attacks'' in 1993 in Delhi in which several people for killed.

Mahendra Nath Das from Assam was sentenced to death in 1999 for murder.