Reject Afzal`s mercy plea, govt advises Prez

Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 00:06

New Delhi: In a significant decision, the
government is understood to have recommended to the President
rejection of the clemency petition of Parliament attack
convict Mohd. Afzal Guru, condemned to death.

The Home Ministry is believed to have sent the file
rejecting the mercy petition of Guru, convicted in the 2001
terror attack and given death sentence which was confirmed by
the Delhi High Court and upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Home Ministry is believed to have cited the Delhi
government`s recommendation which also favoured execution of
Guru, an issue which has been hanging fire for seven years and
has been a subject matter of intense political controversy.

Indications of the government`s thinking on the matter
came earlier in the day when Minister of State for Home
Mullappally Ramachandran informed Rajya Sabha that Home
Ministry has submitted Guru`s case to the President`s
Secretariat for a decision.
"The mercy petition case of death convict Mohd. Afzal Guru
has since been submitted to the President`s Secretariat on
July 27, 2011 for a decision," he said

He was responding to a question on why the government is
not taking steps with regard to expediting the pending mercy
petition of death row convict Guru.

Asked whether there is any provision under the
Constitution for deciding upon any "clemency petition" against
capital punishment as per sequence of its submission, the
Minister said, "There is no Constitutional provision. It was
an administrative decision to ensure fair and urgent treatment
of all cases".

Guru was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001
attack on the Parliament and was sentenced to death by the
Supreme Court in 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be
carried out on October 20, 2006.
However, Guru`s execution was stayed following a mercy
petition filed by his wife. He remains on death row.

Meanwhile, the Congress has steered clear of questions on
decision on early execution of Afzal Guru contending that it
was not proper to react on mercy petition cases submitted to
the President.

"It is also part of a system. The matter is with the
President. Just like it is not proper to say anything on
sub-judice cases, the same holds true with issues submitted to
the President," party spokesman Rashid Alvi told reporters.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 15:47

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