Ready now to hang Afzal: Govt

via PNS | New Delhi published on August 10, 2011

Home Ministry finally sends file to President

Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru’s mercy petition has finally reached President Pratibha Patil. The Home Ministry struck down his plea for commutation of the death sentence and forwarded its opinion on his petition to the President on July 27.

Architect of the most audacious attack on the symbol of India’s democracy has till now survived the gallows because the Delhi Government and the Home Ministry took five years to firm up their respective positions on Afzal’s mercy plea. His plea had been going back and forth between the Delhi Government and the Union Home Ministry since 2006.

“Mercy petition of death convict Afzal Guru has since been submitted to the President’s Secretariat on July 27 for a decision,” said the Home Ministry in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday in reply to a question by BJP MP Prakash Javadekar.

According to sources, the Home Ministry in its recommendation to President endorsed the Delhi Government’s view that Guru should hang.

On Javadekar’s query whether there was any provision under the Constitution for deciding upon any “clemency petition” as per sequence of its submission, Minister of State in Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran 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 Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2005. 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.

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