Parameters for mercy petitions listed by the government of India

Home ministry has declared the major points for taking into account mercy petitions. The list included the long delay in investigation/trial as well as age and mental paucity of the applicant as grounds on which mercy may be justified. The government has considered a uniform and transparent procedure for dealing with mercy petitions. With the number of different type of cases and circumstances certain major guidelines generally taken into account in the ministry of home affairs and the mercy petition may be considered on the following grounds:

  • Personality of the accused (age, sex or mental deficiency) or circumstances of the case (such as provocation).
  • Difference of opinion in a bench of two judges, necessitating reference to the third judge of the high court.
  • Cases in which appellate court has expressed its doubt as to reliability of the evidence but nevertheless decided on conviction.
  • Cases where it is alleged that fresh evidence is obtainable, mainly with a view to seeing whether fresh enquiry is justified
  • Consideration of evidence in fixation of responsibility in gang murder cases.
  • Long delay in investigation and trial, etc.
  • Where the high court has reversed on appeal an acquittal by a session judge or has on appeal enhanced the sentence.
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