Congress Wants ‘Time Limit’ on Deciding Mercy Plea

BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter

New Delhi: Should Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s case be fast tracked? The Congress admits there should a be a time-frame.

“So long as the constitutional rules do not provide for a specific time limit, this is bound to happen. You will have different persons taking different time periods because no time limit is provided,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Afzal Guru’s mercy petition is pending with President Pratibha Patil, a day after the Home ministry recommended that the Parliament attack convict’s mercy plea be rejected.

Technically the President could send the recommedation back for a review once but will have to agree with the Centre’s view if the recommendation is sent the second time.

Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on October 20, 2006.

But his execution has been stayed pending a decision on his mercy plea. Should the case be fast tracked – Soli Sorabjee says political fallout should not effect mercy petitions.

“To my mind the political fallout should not be a relevant consideration,” he said.



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