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Pranab Mukherjee withheld assent to 18 state legislation during his five year tenure as president, many of them overlapping with central Acts, according to data available with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). But newly sworn-in President Ram Nath Kovind won’t have any pending mercy pleas as Mukherjee, during his tenure, rejected 30 mercy petitions, including that of terror convicts Yakub Memon, Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru. Records also reveal that 15 state Bills were returned by the President’s Secretariat with a message to the Assembly concerned, suggesting changes.
The Bills for which assent was withheld also include the Delhi government’s Code of Criminal Procedure (Delhi Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Delhi Member of Legislative Assembly (removal of disqualification) (amendment) Bill. Among the Bills which were returned to Assembly by Mukherjee is Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill 2015, Protection of Manipur people Bill 2015, The Sugarcane (Regulation) of Supply and Purchase Amendment Bill, Code of Criminal Procedure (Bihar Amendment) Bill, 2011.
Under Article 111 of the Constitution, while considering the Bills, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill, or that he withholds assent or return the Bill if it is not a Money Bill with a message requesting the House to reconsider it.