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Delhi govt reverts Afzal's file with minor corrections

Source: PTI
May 19, 2010 16:06 IST
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The Delhi Government on Wednesday once again sent the file of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's mercy petition to the Lieutenant Governor after incorporating some "minor clarifications".

Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna had sent back the file on Tuesday seeking more clarification over the remark of the Delhi government, which had backed the death sentence for Guru but with a rider that the law and order implications should be closely examined while carrying out his execution. "We have sent back the file after making some minor clarifications. They (LG's office) sought some clarification from our side and we have incorporated those," a top source in Delhi government told PTI.

He also said "under Article 72 of the Constitution, the opinion of the state government on mercy petition is not mandatory and in Delhi, we don't have even law and order powers with us." Meanwhile, he said the city government, in a separate communication, has already conveyed to the Union Home Ministry that the file is under "active consideration". This was its response to the 16th reminder by the Centre on the issue.

The LG's office had sent back the file, saying the comment of Delhi Government on the issue was not very clear and sought clarification. However, both Delhi government and LG's office refused to spell out the nature of the clarification maintaining that the issue was very sensitive. The city government had sent the file on Monday to LG's office after the 16th reminder from Union Home Ministry recently seeking its opinion on the matter.

According to officials, the city government has opined that it does not have any problem with the death sentence being carried out but law and order implications should be closely examined while doing so. The Delhi government has been criticised by Opposition parties for dilly-dallying on the matter for nearly four years. The capital punishment given to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Mumbai attacks case brought the issue under fresh focus.

Asked about the delay, the source said if an explanation was sought, the government was ready to give one. Guru was awarded 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 Delhi High Court on October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court two years later on August four, 2005. Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to Union Home Ministry for its comments.

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