President Pranab Mukherjee has returned seven mercy petitions, including that of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, for consideration of the Union Home Ministry.
Official sources said it was a normal procedure for the President to refer all pending mercy petitions for consideration to a new Home Minister after he takes charge.
Since Shinde took charge as a Home Minister on August 1, the seven mercy petitions, including that of Guru's, were sent to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for consideration, they said.
All these seven mercy petitions were earlier sent to the President, incorporating the concerned state government's opinion and the Home Ministry's recommendation, for final disposal.
Both the Delhi government and the Home Ministry had recommended that Guru's mercy petition, filed by his wife, be rejected by the President, the sources said.
Apart from the seven, five other mercy petitions of different convicts are being processed by the Home Ministry.
The sources said two other mercy petitions are pending for consideration by the President.