New Delhi: The office of the President has taken off the 'mercy petition' section from its official website and it said matters relating to the subject for public information will henceforth be dealt by the Union Home Ministry. The website had a separate section giving details of the number of clemency petitions pending with President Pranab Mukherjee and those cleared by him after he assumed office in July, 2012.
The section was put in place immediately after the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist, in connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. He was hanged in November, 2012. Rashtrapati Bhavan officials said on Thursday a decision to pull out the section relating to mercy petitions was taken as it was a subject matter of Ministry of Home Affairs, which will deal with it in future.
The section, which was a part of President's Secretariat in the official website, was last updated on January 11 after the President had rejected the mercy plea of death row convict Saibanna Ningappa Natikar, who had murdered his wife and daughter. However, the section was never updated after the execution of Afzal Guru, who was sent to gallows on February
The President's Secretariat, meanwhile, introduced a section that contained the list of mediapersons who had travelled with the Presidents of the country since 1958 - when the then President Rajendra Prasad travelled abroad for the first time to Malaysia and Indonesia. On display of the list, Rashtrapati Bhavan officials said this was in response to an RTI query.