New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Friday made it clear that former President APJ Abdul Kalam's acceptance of the mercy petition of an Assam death row convict was conveyed to his successor Pratibha Patil and she was not kept in the dark. In a statement, the Home Ministry said the entire file related to death row convict Mahendra Nath Das, including the minutes recorded by the previous President, were placed before the then President Pratibha Patil for her consideration.
The clarification came after the Supreme Court observed that Patil was "kept in the dark" by the Home Ministry about the view of her predecessor Kalam, who had ordered commuting the death sentence of Das to life imprisonment.
The Ministry said when a mercy petition is considered, a basic note is prepared by the division concerned and the Joint Secretary concerned submits the same through the Additional Secretary and the Home Secretary to the Home Minister. In the case of Mahendra Nath Das, a basic note was prepared on September 30, 2010. Paragraph 10 of the basic note extracted the view recorded by Kalam. The Joint Secretary who submitted the note to the Home Minister also referred to the view of Kalam at para 4 of his note.
The Home Minister recorded his advice to the President on October 12, 2010. "Thereafter, a summary for the President was prepared and submitted to the President on October 18, 2010. President Patil gave her decision on May 8, 2011.
"The entire file, including the minutes recorded by the previous President were placed before the then President Patil for her consideration, the Home Ministry statement said. The view of President Kalam which directed reconsideration is recorded on page 69. Paragraph 10 of the basic note is at page 76-77. Paragraph 4 of the Joint Secretary's note is at page 78. The advice of the Home Minister is at page 79. The summary for the President is at pages 81-87. The decision of President Pratibha Patil is at page 87.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry is likely to file a petition before the Supreme Court to review the order. Sources said the Home Ministry wants to put all the facts, the file and the minutes before the apex court and will plea for reconsideration of the order.