Patil has come in for criticism for having commuted the death penalty against the backdrop of outrage over the gangrape and murder of a 23-year old paramedical student in the capital.
Officials said the President in exercise of powers under Article 72 of the Constitution relating to the power to grant clemency is not supposed to act on her own judgement but is mandated to act in accordance of aid and advice of the Government which is binding.
Thus, the power to pardon is a part of Constitutional scheme of things and not a private act of grace on the part of the President, they said.
In all these cases, the Home Ministry has examined the mitigating and extenuating circumstances and spelt out specific reasons for advice after consulting the Law ministry, they clarified.
Patil commuted capital punishment of Bandu Baburao Tidake five years after his death in Belgaum prison in 2007 of AIDS.
Tidake was a self-styled practitioner of occult sciences who had raped and murdered a 16-year old girl at Bagalkot, Karnataka in 2002.
Tidake had appealed to the High Court in December 2005 against the sessions court judgement but the death penalty was confirmed by High Court and the Supreme Court.
Another case was of Bantu of Uttar Pradesh who had raped and murdered a five-year old girl in 2003 in Agra. The girl who had come to a Devi Jagran along with his uncle was lured by her neighbour Bantu.
She was taken to hospital but succumbed to her injuries on the way. Bantu was convicted and remained on death row since 2008 till pardoned by Patil in June 2012.
Patil commuted death sentence of Satish from Uttar Pradesh who had raped and murdered a six-year old girl in Meerut in May 2012.
Moloi Ram and Santosh Yadav of Madhya Pradesh were sentenced to death for rape and murder of teenaged daughter of jailor of Rewa prison in 1996. One of the convicts Santosh was already serving the sentence in the jail while Molai was working as guard.
The jailor had asked them to work in the lawn of his quarters while he had gone for some work with other members of his family when they raped and killed his daughter who was alone in the house.
Her body was found in a tank and postmortem confirmed rape and murder. The duo were on death row since October 26, 1999 when Supreme Court confirmed their death sentence.
Patil commuted their death sentence on February 4, 2011 and turned it into life term without parole.
Lal Chand Doom and Shivlal whose death sentence was commuted by Patil had entered the house of a small grocery merchant in border district of Sriganganagar in Rajasthan on January 9, 1999 where they raped his wife.
They killed the merchant, his wife and five year old child who started crying while the crime was being committed.
Although rape and murder charges were initially not levelled against Doom, it was proven later that he was the main conspirator.
Their death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court on February 20, 2004 but nearly after eight years on June 2, 2012 Patil turned it into life imprisonment.
Either do away with capital punishment or do away with this kind of fraud! There is no point retaining death penalty on the statute books and after years of litigation and final conviction resulting in sentence to death, the whims and fancies of people in offices of authority are allowed subvert the whole process.
President had no such power. it was Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet who had approved the commutation and at the advise of (ofcourse) Sonia madam. blaming Ex President is unwise
If you are slapped, you should forward the other cheek for another one! The torturer's conscience will stop him. Therefore, rapists should be offered more girls to rape, till the point their conscience returns. The President just followed this, and in the process sealed her place in Heaven - VVIP Cell.