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'Afzal's hanging was unfortunate'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 18, 2013
First Published: 00:22 IST(18/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:23 IST(18/2/2013)

Eminent jurist Fali S Nariman backed retaining death penalty on the statue but made it clear that Afzal Guru's family should have been informed before hanging the Parliament attack convict.


But he added: "Our worst enemies couldn't have done it better. The way it was done. It was unfortunate. I am sure they did not think it out".

"These things have to be thought out from a humanitarian aspect. You may certainly hang somebody because the President has refused his mercy plea. At the same time, humanitarian concepts are not alien to India," Nariman told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.

Nariman said his family wasn't told by phone because "some government minion must have thought that Afzal will obtain a stay against the death warrant by moving the court."

"They have just not done their home work... There is something wrong with the whole administrative set up," Nariman said, adding the manner in which Afzal's execution was implemented has embarrassed India.

Nariman said there was no consensus on removing death as a punishment. "My position is that in India, it is perhaps better to leave the death penalty as it is under the present conditions," he said referring to the principle of 'rarest of rare' test.

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