Govt denies disclosure of file notings on Afzal`s mercy plea

Last Updated: Friday, January 29, 2010 - 14:18

New Delhi: The disclosure of file notings on
the mercy petition of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru may
prejudicially affect country`s sovereignty and integrity, the
Ministry of Home Affairs has said.

The Ministry rejected an RTI application seeking file
notings on the petition, citing "safety and security concern."

It said the petition is under examination in the Ministry
as comments from Delhi government are "still awaited" on the
matter.

As per rules, the comments of the government of the state
where the crime has been committed has to be taken before
deciding on a mercy petition.

The MHA said, "The matter is under consideration in this
Ministry in consultation with the Government of National
Capital Territory of Delhi for submission to the President`s
Secretariat for a final decision. A request for getting copies
of the file notings, therefore, is declined under Section 8
(1) (a) of the RTI Act in view of the safety and security
concern."

As per Section 8 (1) (a) of the Act, disclosure of
information which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty
and integrity of the country or its security, strategic,
scientific or economic interests can be withheld.

Replying to the RTI application filed by advocate Vivek
Garg, the Home Ministry said mercy petition filed by Afzal`s
wafe Tabassum on his behalf is being examined in this Ministry
in consultation with Government of NCT of Delhi. "Comments of
Government of Delhi are awaited," it said.

The MHA said a number of reminders, latest on November
27, 2009, have been sent to the Delhi Government in this
matter.

"After receipt of comments, the petition will be placed
before the President of India for taking a decision in this
matter," it said.

The Central government said a large number of
representations on behalf of the condemned prisoner from
various individuals or quarters, in and outside India, have
also been received for grant as well as not to grant clemency
to him.

Guru was sentenced to death by a Delhi Court for his role
in the December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament in which nine
security personnel were killed and 16 others were seriously
injured.

The sentence which was to be carried out on October 20,
2006, as per the court order, was stayed because of mercy
petition filed by Guru`s wife.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 29, 2010 - 14:18

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