BJP demands clarification from Centre over Patil's revelation

New Delhi, Dec. 30 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday demanded a clarification from the Congress-led UPA Government over former President Pratibha Devisingh Patil's recent disclosure that she converted capital punishment into life imprisonment or lighter sentences for some of the criminals convicted of rape and murder after recommendations from the Union Home Ministry during her tenure.

Lashing out at the Centre, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the nation is certainly entitled to know as to why did the government recommend a lighter punishment when the court has given serious punishment in such offences, involving rape and murder.

"The former President of India Pratibha Patil has publicly stated that some of the criminals convicted of dastardly rape and murder, their capital punishment was converted to either life imprisonment or lighter sentences by exercising the power of pardon. But she has clarified (that) the constitutional provision that such power she exercised upon the recommendations of the Union Home Ministry," said Prasad.

"The country is certainly entitled to know the answer because there must be right earnestness to ensure that this strong anger of the country is properly tapped so that we can make the future safe for our daughters, sisters and brothers and entire women power of the country," he added.

While speaking to a Marathi news channel, Patil had earlier on Saturday said that when she went through a files of perpetrators of atrocious crimes such as rape and that she had asked the Home Ministry whether to continue keeping the punishment of life sentence or reconsider the punishment over which the government chose to turn the capital punishment to a life imprisonment.

During her tenure, Patil reportedly gave five persons accused of rape charges respite from their punishment of being hanged till death.

Amid the nationwide outrage over the Delhi gang rape incident, which led to death of the 23-year-old victim, Patil's revelation has created uproar, as people are persistently agitating for capital punishment for the perpetrators of the heinous crime. (ANI)