Not to divulge any more information on the issue

Unwilling to be at the centre of the debate over mercy petitions, President Pranab Mukherjee’s office has announced that it will not divulge any more information on the rejection, pendency or commutation of mercy petitions, leaving instead the Union Home Ministry to deal with the issue.

On Thursday, the President’s Office made changes to its website and dropped the section that listed the mercy petitions the President had received and those that were disposed of or put on hold by former Presidents.

Sources in the President’s Office said it was decided to allow the Home Affairs Ministry to deal with the matter.

The section providing information on the mercy petitions has been replaced by an exhaustive list of international tours undertaken by Presidents since 1958. A list of domestic tours of the current President undertaken till date is also in the public domain.Meanwhile, sources said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had sent the final recommendations regarding seven mercy petitions, involving nine convicts on death row, to President Mukherjee. These mercy petitions were forwarded by the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the MHA late last year.

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