Afzal Guru had planned to challenge President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision on his mercy petition in a court of law in case it was rejected, after he came to know about the execution of Mumbai terror attacks convict, Ajmal Kasab.
Guru’s lawyer and civil rights activist ND Pancholi told HT on Sunday that he (Guru) was hopeful of his death sentence being commuted into life imprisonment, but was prepared to fight further in court.
“I told him he should be prepared about decision on his mercy petition. He told me though we would wait for the decision, but at the same time should be prepared to challenge it in court,” Pancholi said.
Guru had asked Pancholi about the possible grounds for challenging the President’s decision. “I told him about three death row convicts in former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case and also Devenderpal Singh Bhullar having moved the SC citing delays in deciding his mercy petitions, which were rejected by the President in 2011.”
He said the denial of information by the President and the Centre about the rejection of Guru’s mercy plea to his family was a clear case of injustice. “When there were precedents of death row convicts being allowed to challenge rejection on grounds of inordinate delay in the SC, why was he hanged in a hurry,” he asked.