Apex court dismisses plea for early hanging of Afzal Guru

February 22nd, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a plea for early hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru, condemned to the gallows for plotting the December 2001 terror attack on the Indian parliament. A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and Markandey Katju dismissed the plea saying that the apex court has already decided the case.

The bench asked the petitioner, little-known Hindu organisation called Lashkar-e-Hind, to approach the government.

Questioning the delay on a decision on Afzal’s mercy petition to the president, Lashkar-e-Hind contended that a convict given the death sentence should not be allowed to frustrate the court’s decision.

“A condemned prisoner, waiting to be hanged, should not be having any fundamental right,” contended the petitioner.

The organisation demanded judicial direction for Afzal’s execution at the earliest, arguing that the courts had arrived at the decision to hang him.

But in case he is pardoned, it would amount to negation of the judicial verdict, the petitioner contended.

However, the bench refused to buy the Lashkar-e-Hind argument.

On Dec 13, 2001, five gunmen stormed the heavily guarded parliament complex and killed nine people before being shot dead. Afzal was awarded the death penalty after being convicted of the conspiracy, a verdict upheld by the Supreme Court.

However, Afzal’s hanging scheduled on Oct 20, 2006 was put off after his wife submitted a mercy petition to then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

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