Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Write letters to govt not us: SC tells Afzal

No Judicial Remedy Open To Afzal From Apex Court

New Delhi: Fatigued by the number of petitions and letters received by it from Parliament attack case condemned prisoner Mohammad Afzal Guru, the Supreme Court has tersely told him not to waste his time and energy by communicating with the apex court for relief and told him to petition the government.
Afzal, whose death sentence was upheld by the apex court on August 4, 2005, had since moved a review and curative petition seeking re-appreciation of evidence in the Parliament attack case. Both the petitions were dismissed by the Supreme Court — the review in September 2006 and the curative in January 2007.
However, he wrote a letter requesting the SC to direct the authorities to shift him from Tihar Jail to Srinagar central jail which would facilitate his meeting with family members who were finding it difficult to travel to Delhi. His counsel had also claimed that he had written a letter seeking early decision on the mercy petition pending with the President.
The Supreme Court, sources said, has sent a response to one of his letters telling him that there was little the judiciary could do about his request as the apex court has already rejected his pleas for reconsideration of the judgment confirming the death penalty.
“As far as Afzal is concerned, the Supreme Court is non-functus for him. All his grievances as a condemned prisoner awaiting decision on his mercy plea could be addressed only by the government and none else,” the sources added. The execution of the death sentence to Afzal, awarded by the trial court on December 18, 2002 which was confirmed by the Delhi High Court on October 29, 2003 and later by the SC on August 4, 2005, has been kept in abeyance as the condemned prisoner’s wife Tabassum has filed a mercy plea with the President.
The SC sources said since Afzal has exhausted all remedies available under the judicial umbrella, he now has to seek redressal of his grievances from the government and writing letters to the apex court would be of no use.
The SC had on January 12, 2007, slammed the doors on Afzal, a Jaish-e-Mohammad militant convicted for being a key player in the December 13, 2001 daredevil attack on Parliament.

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