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Opinion on Afzal Guru soon: Delhi govt

Source: PTI
May 17, 2010 22:09 IST
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After yet another reminder from the home ministry, the Delhi Government on Monday said it would send in the "shortest possible time" its opinion on the mercy petition of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Afzal Guru's file "is already on the move", top sources in the Delhi Government told PTI.

"It can be cleared any day. It is already on the move. We are trying to clear it within shortest possible time," they said.

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

Guru was awarded death sentence by a Delhi court on December 18, 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack the Parliament on December 13, 2001, 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 four, 2005.

A sessions court also fixed the date of his hanging on October 20, 2006 in Tihar jail.

Following this, the convict filed a mercy petition with President of India, 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 Mumbai attack 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, Home Minister P Chidambaram attended a function at Dikshit's residence this evening, but it was not clear whether they discussed the Afzal Guru issue.

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

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