Pranab equals Pratibha, in 7 months

New Delhi, Feb. 9: Pranab Mukherjee signed the file rejecting Afzal Guru's mercy petition last Sunday, the same day that he put his stamp on the ordinance that provides for death for killer rapists.

With this, the President has disposed of four mercy petitions, rejecting three, in less than seven months since he took over on July 25, 2012.

Ajmal Kasab's was the first mercy plea he rejected, on November 5. The Pakistani gunman was hanged on November 21.

The second was that of Saibanna Ningappa Natikar, on January 4. Saibanna was convicted for the murder of his first wife. While on parole in September 1994, suspecting the fidelity of his second wife, he killed her and his daughter and attempted to commit suicide. He is lodged in a Karnataka jail.

Mukherjee has already equalled the record of his immediate predecessor, Pratibha Patil, who rejected three mercy petitions in her five years in office. She granted 19 clemency requests.

The three she rejected included that of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins T. Suthethiraja alias Santhan, Sriharan alias Murugan and G. Perarivalan alias Arivu. However, the Supreme Court stayed the execution on a fresh appeal by the convicts.

The first mercy petition President Patil rejected was that of Mahender Nath Das, in May 2011. Das was convicted of beheading a colleague and carrying his head to a police station.

The same month, she rejected the clemency plea of Devinder Singh Bhullar, convicted for 1993 bomb blast opposite a Youth Congress office in Delhi that killed nine.

When Patil demitted office, 11 mercy petitions were pending before the President, including Afzal's. Afzal's wife Tabassum had filed the petition before Patil's predecessor, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in 2006. President Kalam, whose term ended in 2007, had rejected one mercy petition, that of Dhananjay Chatterjee, who was hanged in 2004.

But some Presidents did not show as much mercy. R. Venkatraman rejected 33 petitions and Zail Singh 20.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Punjab elect to bowl. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »