New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today directed the Union Home Secretary, Government of India to submit status report on the missing mercy petition of death row convict Holiram Bordoloi of Assam within four weeks. (The order of the NHRC is available at: http://nhrc.nic.in/display.asp?fno=52/3/0/2014 )
As per the RTI reply of the Inspector General of Prisons, Assam, the mercy petition of condemned prisoner Holiram Bordoloi was forwarded to the President of India vide letter No.PRI.826 dated 18.04.2005 and to the Judicial Department, Government of Assam on 17.06.2005. Though a reply received from office of the Inspector General of Prisons, Assam vide letter dated 09.07.2013 states that the mercy petition is still pending with the President of India, the "list of mercy petition cases since 1981" received by the President of India from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India vide letter dated 28.03.2013 does not bear the name of Holiram Bordoloi. This establishes that the mercy petition of Holiram Bordoloi had been lost and was not considered at all in the last nine years.
“The loss of mercy petition of condemned prisoner Holiram Bordoloi once again establishes the absolute callousness of the Government of India while considering the mercy pleas. This blatant abuse of power given to the President of India must be adjudicated by the judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. Further, accountability for gross dereliction of duty and shameful acts such as losing mercy petitions must be established.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
"The death sentence of Holiram Bordoloi must also be commuted to life imprisonment in the light of the judgement of the Supreme Court of India on 21 January 2014 in the case ofShatrughan Chauhan & Anr Vs. Union of India & Ors (Writ Petition (Criminal No. 55 of 2013)." - further demanded Mr Chakma.
Holiram Bordoloi was one of the accused in connection with the killing of three persons at Nayagaon under Boribazar Outpost in Morigaon district in Assam on 26 November 1996. He was tried by the Sessions Judge, Morigaon in Sessions Case No. 47/99 and 47A/99 found guilty of various offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 436, 326 and 302 read with Section 149. For the main offence under Section 302 read with Section 149, Holiram Bordoloi was awarded the death sentence by the Sessions Judge on 5 May 2003.
Holiram Bordoloi filed an appeal before the Guwahati High Court of Assam against the death penalty imposed on him. The Guwahati High Court confirmed the death sentence on 9 March 2004.
On 8 April 2005, the Supreme Court [Holiram Bordoloi Vs. State of Assam (Appeal (Crl.) 1063 of 2004] upheld the death sentence of Holiram Bordoloi and vacated the interim stay of execution of the sentence.