The Indian government will file a mercy petition on behalf of the family members of two men who were sentenced to death by Qatar’s Supreme Court, said Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The Minister, who had sought a report from the Indian Ambassador in Qatar, said the Embassy has requested the Tamil Nadu government to help in filing the mercy plea for Alagappa Subramaniam and Chelladurai Perumal who are accused of killing an elderly woman in the Gulf country.
"We have to file mercy petition on behalf of their family members. Our Embassy has requested Government of Tamil Nadu in this regard," the Minister said in a tweet.
"I have received report from Qatar regarding death sentence for Alagappa Subramaniam and Chelladurai Perumal, both from Tamil Nadu," she said in an earlier tweet.
On December 8, the Ministry had said in its weekly media briefing: "Subramanian Alagappa and Chelladurai Perumal continue to remain on death row. The third convict, Shivakumar Archunan, his case was reviewed by the appeals court and his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment."
"We had filed a case in respect of all three because we believe that the penalty is too harsh ... Our Embassy in Qatar continues to closely monitor this case in association with the lawyer who has been appointed for all three accused," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup added.
In its verdict delivered on January 2, the Court of Cassation of Qatar upheld the death sentence handed down by the lower courts to Subramanian and Perumal. According to the prosecution, the lady was killed during a bid to burgle her house.
The third accused Archunan, who too had been sentenced to death by the First Instance Court in 2014, was commuted to life by the Court of Appeals in June last year.