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Report No. 262

(iv) Non-Application of Mind

a. The Case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee v. State of W.B., (2004) 9 SCC 751

6.6.8 In the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, when the Governor was advised to reject the mercy petition, he was not informed about the mitigating circumstances of the case. The Supreme Court held the same to be a serious error, which had prejudiced the convict, and consequently quashed the rejection of the mercy petition. However, the mercy petition preferred by Dhananjoy Chatterjee was subsequently rejected by the executive and he was executed.

b. The Case of Bandu Baburao Tidke v. State of Karnataka (Unreported Order in SLP Crl. 3048 of 2006) dated 10.7.2006

6.6.9 Tidke's mercy petition was received in the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2007. On 2.6.2012, it was decided to commute his death sentence. However, unknown to the President, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State Government, Tidke had expired in prison about five years earlier on 18.10.2007 while awaiting a verdict on his mercy plea. His mercy petition had been decided without obtaining updated information from the prison authorities or the State Government, raising questions about the diligence exercised and procedures in adjudicating mercy petitions.

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