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Delhi govt clears file on Afzal Guru mercy plea

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 18, 2010 16:32 IST
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The Delhi government on Tuesday cleared the file on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's mercy petition; and sent it to the Lieutenant Governor.

The Delhi government's move to expedite clearance of the file comes after the Union home ministry sent the 16th reminder seeking its opinion on Guru's mercy petition.

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 and waging war against India and murder.

The death sentence was upheld by 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, Guru filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to home ministry for its comments.

The ministry, in turn, sent the report to Delhi government's home department for its comments, as per the standard requirement as the execution was to be held in the capital.

The Delhi government has been sitting on the file for nearly four years, but the capital punishment given to Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case has brought the issue under sharp focus.

The home ministry had sent a letter nearly a month ago to the Delhi government, reminding that it wanted to know its opinion on Afzal Guru's mercy petition.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit earlier said she was not aware of any such letter sent by the home ministry.

"I have not received any letter (from home ministry). Maybe the home department (of the Delhi government received it)," said Dikshit, who incidentally is in-charge of the home department.

Meanwhile, the main opposition BJP has been repeatedly questioning the delay in hanging Afzal Guru.

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