Government forwards Afzal Guru mercy plea to president


New Delhi : The government in July forwarded the mercy petition of 2001 Parliament House attack convict Afzal Guru to President Pratibha Patil for a decision.

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“The mercy petition case of death convict Afzal Guru has since been submitted to the President’s Secretariat July 27, 2011, for a decision,” Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said in a statement to the Rajya Sabha Wednesday.

Since there are many mercy petitions already pending with the home ministry and the President’s Secretariat, the minister was asked if there was any provision under the constitution for deciding upon any such cases as per sequence of its submission.

Ramachandran said: “There is no constitutional provision. It was an administrative decision to ensure fair and urgent treatment of all cases.”

Afzal Guru was found guilty of plotting the Dec 13, 2001, Parliament House attack, in which nine people were killed, and was sentenced to death in 2002. The Delhi High Court confirmed the death penalty in 2003.

The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on Oct 20, 2006, after being upheld by the Supreme Court in 2004.

However, Guru’s execution was stayed following a mercy petition filed by his wife. He remains on death row.

The BJP has been demanding he should be sent to gallows for justice to the victims of the attack.