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SC commutes death penalty of 15 convicts including 4 Veerappan aides, due to delay

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death penalty of 15 convicts, including four aides of forest brigand Veerappan to life term on ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea by the
India TV News Desk January 21, 2014 15:18 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death penalty of 15 convicts, including four aides of forest brigand Veerappan to life term on ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea by the govt and mental illness.

Over 20 death row convicts had approached Supreme Court seeking an authoritative ruling on the matter.

The court commuted death sentence of four aides of forest brigand Veerappan to life term on ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea by the government.

The court also ruled that a death row convict must be hanged within 14 days after dismissal of his/ her mercy petition.

Ruling that death row convicts and their families must be informed after their mercy plea is rejected by the President or the Governor, the apex court said, "Once the mercy plea has been rejected, it should be communicated in writing."

The apex court said schizophrenia, insanity and mental illness can be reasons for commuting death penalty and the convicts should be given adequate medical treatment and legal aid.

The order also said that solitary confinement of a death row convict and other prisoners is unconstitutional.