Executive should explain delay over mercy petition: Gopal Subramanium
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Senior Supreme Court advocate and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium Saturday said the Executive should explain the delay in deciding the mercy petition of Parliament attack case convict Mohd Afzal Guru.
Speaking to The Sunday Express after Guru's hanging, Subramanium also rebutted claims by some activists that there wasn't enough proof to convict Afzal.
"The Delhi Police team, which investigated the case, did a very thorough job in a very competent manner. The investigations were completed in a very short period of just 21 days, with current Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar being incharge of the investigation. The trial before Justice S N Dhingra was also completed in a very short duration. When the case went to the High Court, the then Home Minister L K Advani asked me to take over as special prosecutor," Subramanium said. "The matter was heard on a day-to-day basis and even in the Supreme Court it was decided soon. As far as Afzal Guru is concerned, there was complete and clear evidence of participation in the conspiracy. The evidence was not only his confession but there was substantial evidence to show his involvement. Therefore, it was not a case where there were any loose ends," he said.
Asked about the gap between sentencing and the delay in hanging, the lawyer said, "I can't comment on the reasons for the delay as I really don't know what considerations weigh with the government when they decide such cases. That is for the Executive to explain. I can only say that in a case of this kind, which is not just an attack on Parliament but on the sovereignty of the country, the Executive government has to be conscious of the court verdict."
To a question on how much time, in his view, must the government take in deciding mercy petitions, especially those involving terrorists, he said, "The government must take a decision in a fair and reasonable period. The court decided the matter very quickly. I remember this because in my professional career it is one of the most important cases."
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