Four years after the Centre sought its opinion, the Delhi Government on Tuesday backed the death sentence for Afzal Guru but with a remark that the implications of law and order should be closely examined while carrying out the execution of the Parliament attack convict.
In a late evening development, the Delhi Lt Governor's office sent back the file seeking more clarification over the remark of the Delhi Government.
"We received the file from Delhi Government pertaining to Afzal Guru's mercy petition on Monday. We have sent back the file to Delhi Government this evening seeking further clarification," highly placed sources in the LG's office told PTI.
They indicated that the comment of Delhi Government on the issue was not very clear and that is why the file was sent back.
Asked to clarify specifically on the issue why the file has been returned, they refused to elaborate saying the issue is very sensitive.
The city government sent the file after the 16th reminder from Union Home Ministry recently seeking its opinion on the matter.
"We don't have any problem with the Supreme Court verdict but the implications of the law and order situation should be closely examined while carrying out the execution," a top government official said.
Meanwhile, the city government, in a communication to the Union Home Ministry, has replied to the latest reminder on the matter, the sources said.
The Delhi government has been criticised by Opposition parties for dilly-dallying on the matter for nearly four years and the capital punishment given to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab in the Mumbai attacks case brought the issue under fresh focus.
Guru was awarded death sentence by a Delhi court on December 18, 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack Parliament on December 13, 2001, waging war against the country and murder.
Delhi High Court upheld the death sentence on October 29, 2003 and the Supreme Court rejected his appeal two years later on August four, 2005.
A sessions court also fixed the date of his hanging on October 20, 2006 in Tihar jail.
Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to Union Home Ministry for its comments.
The Union Home Ministry had sent the file to Delhi Government's Home Department for its comments as per the mandatory procedure.