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Home Ministry yet to decide on Afzal Guru mercy plea

Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry is yet to take a final decision on the mercy petition of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.

Sources in the Ministry denied reports that any recommendation on the mercy plea was sent to President Pratibha Patil.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said the President was yet to receive any recommendation on the mercy plea. “We have not received anything on Afzal Guru from the Home Ministry yet,” the spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Final decision

The sources said the mercy petition, received recently by the Home Ministry from Delhi's Lt-Governor Tejendra Khanna, was under examination and a final decision would be taken by Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

Convicted for plotting the terror strike on Parliament on December 13, 2001, Afzal Guru, hailing from Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested a few days after the attack.

He was found guilty and awarded death sentence by a Sessions Court in Delhi in 2002. The sentence was upheld by the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court approved it in August 2005.

His execution was set for October 20, 2006 but his wife Tabassum moved a mercy petition. He has been confined to death row in the Tihar jail here for the past four years.

The mercy petition was referred by the President to the Home Ministry, which in turn sought the views of the Delhi government, a process which took nearly four years.

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