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Afzal Guru's mercy plea file sent back to Home Ministry

Special Correspondent

Lieutenant-Governor has given his opinion


NEW DELHI: The file on the mercy petition of Afzal Guru — the Parliament attack case convict who was sentenced to death — has been sent back by Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna to the Union Home Ministry.

Sources in the Lieutenant-Governor's Secretariat confirmed on Friday that the file was sent to the Ministry on Thursday evening. Mr. Khanna has given his opinion on the matter after detailed discussions with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and other officials.

The Ministry sent Afzal's file to the Delhi government in 2006 seeking its opinion on the mercy petition filed before the President of India by Afzal's wife Tabassum.

The file remained with the Delhi government for nearly four years, during which the government took the opinion of the Delhi Police, the Directorate of Prosecution, and the Probation Officer of the Social Welfare Department.

However, it was only in the wake of the death sentence awarded to the Mumbai 2008 attacks accused, Ajmal Kasab, and after the Home Ministry sent the 16 {+t} {+h} reminder to the Delhi government early in May to give its opinion on the mercy petition, that the file was forwarded to Mr. Khanna on May 18.

The Lieutenant-Governor, however, returned the file the same day for some “urgent clarifications” since the government's views were not clear.

Ms. Dikshit is learnt to have stated in her opinion that she stood by the Supreme Court's verdict in the matter but was nevertheless concerned about the law and order situation that might arise if Guru was hanged.

After discussions, the file was again sent to the Lieutenant-Governor, who finally sent it back to the Ministry.

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