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Sarabjit's review petition was filed late: Lawyer

Abdul Hameed said the petition was filed late and dismissed on technical grounds due to the negligence of authorities.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 14:48 IST

The Supreme Court had dismissed the review petition of Indian detainee Sarabjit Singh, sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in explosions in Pakistan, due to "negligence" of the prison authorities and the home department, his lawyer has alleged.

Lawyer Rana Abdul Hameed told the media in Lahore that the review petition was filed late and dismissed "on technical grounds" thanks to the authorities' "negligence", the Daily Star reported.

Hameed said that his client was a foreigner and the prison manual clearly stated that prison authorities would be responsible for the timely filing of the appeal of a foreign inmate.

Singh had suffered because of the "slackness" of the authorities in looking after his legal affairs, he said.

Singh was arrested in 1990 on charges of espionage and terrorism. He was accused of carrying out bomb blasts in Lahore, Kasur and Faisalabad.

He was convicted in four terrorism cases - a bombing at Bhaati Gate, a bus bombing in Ghaziabad, a blast in Faisalabad and the Yakki Gate blast.

He has been sentenced to death for his involvement in the Yakki Gate blast, which killed six people.

His review application for the dismissed appeal in the Yakki Gate blast was rejected by the Supreme Court on September 27 last year on grounds that it had been filed 120 days late.

The review applications for the other cases are still pending.

Hameed was confident that the Supreme Court would "certainly" provide relief to Singh if his case was heard "on merit".

He said that three of Singh's review applications had been filed late because of negligence by the jail authorities.

One had already been rejected while the other two, which had both been filed 32 days late, would also be dismissed, he said.

Hameed said that Singh had been convicted in the four cases on the basis of extra-judicial confessions, "which would not hold if the appeals were heard on merit in court".

He claimed that investigation agencies had released Manjeet Singh, the real culprit of the blasts.

Sarabjit Singh was only guilty of smuggling liquor from India, he said, adding that he had been implicated in crimes that he had not committed.

Sarabjit had been sentenced to death for Manjeet's crimes, despite furnishing "credible evidence" of his identity. He said that Sarabjit had made a mercy petition to President Pervez Musharraf. He hoped the president would sympathise with his client's plight.

First Published: May 12, 2006 14:48 IST