NEW DELHI, June 26: India's outgoing president has defended herself against media criticism that she went on a ‘mercy overdrive’ during her term by granting clemency to nearly three dozen convicts on death row.

Pratibha Patil, who became India's first woman president in 2007 and leaves office next month, commuted 35 death sentences to life imprisonment during her five years in the post — more than any other head of state before her.

The Indian media has generally been critical of her record on the issue, questioning why clemency was deemed appropriate in some cases involving murder, rape and child abduction.

“President Pratibha Patil goes on mercy overdrive,” was the verdict of the Times of India, while the Mail Today questioned her motives. “In her apparent over-zealousness to come across as the apostle of mercy, she appears to have glossed over some gruesome details,” it said. In a statement issued by her office late Monday, Ms Patil defended her choices, insisting she “took well considered decisions” after taking the advice of the home minister. “A queer pitch has been created as though many brutal criminals have been shown mercy and released,” the statement said.—AFP

More From This Section

What hasn’t changed since Bangladesh factory collapse

WHEN I met Rajina Aktar in February last year, her eyes were still red and her memory still fuzzy from the toxic...

Syria rivalry sharply splits jihadist ranks

Infighting among jihadist groups benefits the Assad regime

Baltics mull joint TV channel to counter Kremlin’s line

RIGA: Europe’s Baltic states are in talks to set up their own Russian-language television channel in a bid to...

Looking for laughs in the Middle East

EVERYONE thought we were crazy when we said we were going to the Palestinian territories in search of comedy. You...


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Cartoons
E-PAPER
Front Page