At Last, Home Ministry Forwards Afzal's Mercy Petition File To President
New Delhi, August 10: 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