A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Ranjana P Desai and Ranjan Gogoi and headed by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam gave its consent to hear a PIL questioning the former President Pratibha Patil's decision to commute death sentence of five condemned prisoners in child rape cases and issued notice to the Centre on the plea seeking to set aside the commutation.
Contention of the petitioner Pinki Virani, a journalist, was that out of 35 cases, in which death sentence was commuted by Patil, five cases are relating to brutal child rape, and relief should not have been granted by the President in those cases. The petitioner questioned the former President’s decision saying the cases were shocking and death sentence be revoked and the convicts should be hanged till death.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the petitioner said that the government should be informed that the way it exercises its powers is not the right way to do it. After a brief hearing, the bench agreed to adjudicate the matter and notices were issued to the Centre and Ministry of Home Affairs.