New Delhi: The death sentence of a condemned prisoner belonging to Assam has been commuted to life imprisonment by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The President has commuted the death sentence of Man Bahadur Dewan, alias Tote Dewan, who hails from Assam's Dibrugarh district, to life imprisonment, official sources said today.
This is one of the rare cases where Mukherjee has commuted the death sentence after becoming President in 2012.
The relief to the condemned prisoner came after the President rejected mercy petitions of 22 death row convicts at a stretch. Dewan was sentenced to death for killing his wife Gauri and two minor sons, Rajib and Kajib, in September 2002.
The prisoner had also killed one of his neighbours, Bidhimaya, and surrendered before the police after the multiple murder.
The death sentence of 1993 blast convict Yakub Menon, whose mercy petition was rejected by the president, had been stayed by the Supreme Court. Nithari serial rape and murder convict Surender Koli's mercy petition, too, was rejected by Mukherjee but he got relief from the apex court.
In Dewan's case, Mukherjee is believed to have relied upon the opinion of the Home Ministry which had advised him to take a lenient view of the case.
The Ministry is learnt to have advised Mukherjee that Dewan is from a poor background and murdered his wife, sons and a neighbour due to abject poverty and unemployment.