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SC’s notice on Afzal Guru’s petition for transfer to J&K jail

New Delhi: Supreme Court’s bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M. Lodha, in response to Afzal Guru’s petition to transfer him from Delhi’s Tihar jail to a jail in his home state Jammu & Kashmir because it is very difficult for his family members in coming from there to Delhi to meet him, has issued a notice to central government on 11 February asking its views on Afzal Guru’s petition which he filed through his lawyer Kamakshi Singh Mahalwal. It may be recalled that Afzal Guru, who was accused of terrorists attack on Parliament on 13 December 2001 in which all the attackers and nine of the security guards were killed, was sentenced to death. He had made an appeal against his sentence but the Supreme Court had rejected his appeal in 2006. Ever since that time he is placed in solitary confinement in Tihar Jail and his appeal for mercy is lying with President of India without any decision.

Afzal Guru in his petition filed through his lawyer Kamakshi Singh had stated that his son is 11 years old and his mother is more than 80 years old. They and other members of his family not only undergo great difficulty in coming to Delhi to meet him but even the expenses for coming to Delhi and going back are also difficult to bear. Therefore, if he is transferred to any jail in Jammu & Kashmir, his family members will find it easier to meet him and more frequently. The SC bench asked his lawyer if any other place outside J&K will be suitable to him, he said that Pathankot in Punjab which is nearer to J&K will also be suitable as an alternative to J&K. The SC bench then issued a notice to central government asking for its views on his (Afzal) request.