His statement came amid calls for speedy hanging of Afzal gained momentum after the execution of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks convict Ajmal Kasab.
Earlier, BJP and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh wanted the government to "expedite" the decision on the issue of Afzal Guru, who was sentenced to death in 2004.
President Pranab Mukherjee has returned seven mercy petitions, including that of Guru, for consideration of the Home Ministry.
Official sources said it was a normal procedure for the President to refer all pending mercy petitions for consideration to a new Home Minister after he takes charge.
After Sushilkumar Shinde took charge as Home Minister on August 1, the seven mercy petitions were sent to him for consideration, they said.