Supreme Court seeks status of Afzal Guru mercy plea (Lead)

February 11th, 2011 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday enquired about the status of the mercy petition of Afzal Guru, on death row for his role in the 2001 parliament attack. The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha also issued notice to the central and Delhi governments on a petition by Guru seeking his transfer from Tihar Jail to a prison in Srinagar.

The court, at the outset, enquired about the status of the mercy petition. The court was told that it was pending. At this, the court enquired if Afzal Guru or his family has got any intimation from the government on his mercy petition.

The apex court was told that there was no intimation.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel V.C. Mahajan told the court that under the rules, a convict should be lodged in a jail at the place of his residence. He told the court that Afzal Guru’s 90-year old mother, 11-year-old son and his wife have to travel repeatedly from Srinagar to Delhi to meet him.

Mahajan pleaded that the court ask the central government to respond to the petition.

Mahajan told the court that the family members of Guru incur expenses whenever they come to Delhi to meet him. He sought the court’s direction to the government to reimburse their boarding-lodging expenses during their visits to Delhi to meet Guru.

A resident of Sopore in Kashmir Valley, Guru was found guilty of plotting the Dec 13, 2001 parliament attack and sentenced to death in 2002. The Delhi High Court confirmed the death penalty in 2003.

The Supreme Court also upheld the capital punishment. Guru’s wife filed a mercy petition to the President of India after the apex court verdict.

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