Afzal Guru execution row : Efforts underway to expedite cases, says Khurshid
New Delhi, Dec 13 (ANI): As lawmakers of various political outfits lament the delay in carrying out the death penalty sentence awarded to Mohammed Afzal Guru, who was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Parliament, Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said efforts are being made to expedite the outcomes of crucial cases.
Khurshid said plans were being put in place to ensure that cases would not last longer than five years.
"We are not always entirely happy with the pace at which the rule of law is implemented in our country and that is a reason why we have a mission for justice delivery. Chief Justice has spoken of this, my predecessor Mr. Moily spoke of it and we are moving ahead with that mission," said Khurshid.
"Enormous amount of effort is being put in to ensure that the matters are decided in the court between three to five years, there should be nothing that goes beyond five years," he added.
Meanwhile, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad questioning the delay in Afzal Guru's sentence said carrying out the execution would be the greatest form of respect to the martyrs.
"The entire legal process has been conferred to the Supreme Court, why delay in (Mohammed) Afzal Guru? How long? Why? I think the sooner that verdict is executed it will be the biggest homage to those warriors. It is now ten years, we need to remember that," said Prasad.
Mohammed Afzal Guru, who was held guilty in the case, was awarded the 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.he Delhi High Court upheld the death sentence on October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court two years later.
Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to Union Home Ministry for its comments.he 2001 Parliament attack, led to the death of a dozen people; five terrorists, six policemen and a civilian.
Khurshid also touched on the passing of the Lokpal saying people should refrain from making judgements before the anti-corruption legislation is presented in Parliament.
"I don't think that these issues now should be made matters of ego, I have said it this way therefore it must be that way. I think proof of the pudding is in eating. Let's serve the pudding first and then people can tell us whether they like it or not," said Khurshid.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre is likely hold discussions with its alliance partners on the Lokpal Bill today. An all-party meeting will be held on Wednesday to evolve consensus on the issue.
Veteran social activist Anna Hazare had observed a token daylong protest fast at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday to pressurise the government for passing a strong Lokpal Bill in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
Khurshid also spoke on the Food Security Bill, which is on the day's agenda for the Winter Session of Parliament.
"Can we as people of India afford to have people who are hungry? We can't and therefore whatever else we have to do, we have to ensure that people of this country particularly the marginalised people of this country, the people at the lower end of the economic ladder get the protection that they need, the sustenance that they need and the dignity that they need," he said.
The Union Cabinet is likely to take up the National Food Security Bill for discussion and approval today.
According to reports, the government plans to introduce it in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, which ends on December 22.
The draft of the National Food Security Bill seeks to expand the scope of subsidised food entitlements to the poor. (ANI)
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