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Delhi govt backs death sentence for Afzal Guru

Source: PTI
May 18, 2010 19:08 IST
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The Delhi government has backed the death sentence for Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru, but added that there is a need to examine the implications of the law and order situation while carrying out the Supreme Court's verdict.

Earlier, the state government cleared the file on Guru's mercy petition and sent it to the Lieutenant Governor's office, four years after its opinion was sought on the issue by the Centre.

"File aage chali gayi hei (The file has been moved for further action)," said Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

However, she did not respond to queries on where the file has been sent. Top government sources said the Delhi home ministry has sent the file to the office of Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna, who will examine it and send it back.

After it is returned by the lieutenant governor's office, the state home ministry will forward the file to the Union home ministry. The clearance of the file came after the Delhi government received the 16th reminder from the home ministry recently, seeking its opinion on the mercy petition. The government on Tuesday had said that it will send in the 'shortest possible time' its opinion on the mercy petition.

The Delhi government has been sitting on the file for nearly four years. The capital punishment awarded to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Mumbai terror attacks case brought the issue under fresh focus.

Guru was awarded the death sentence by a Delhi court on December 18, 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack Parliament on December 13, 2001, waging war against the country and murder.

The death sentence was upheld by the Delhi high court on October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court two years later on August 4, 2005. A sessions court also fixed the date of his hanging on October 20, 2006 in Tihar jail.

Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to the home ministry for its comments.

The home ministry had sent the file to the Delhi government's home ministry for its comments, as per the laid out procedure.

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