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Guru’s petition dismissal against natural justice: SPDPR

Srinagar
Jan 13, 2007:

Sapphire
A Protrestor in Srinagar in Oct 2006, after SC upheld Guru's death sentence
The Society for Prevention of Detainees and Prisoners Rights (SPDPR) Friday termed the dismissal of Afzal Guru’s curative petition by Supreme Court of India ‘against natural justice’.

“A man is being hanged without giving him a chance to defend himself,” SPDPR President S A R Geelani told Kashmir Newz on phone from New Delhi.

SPDPR is a civil rights group based in New Delhi which contends that Guru was denied a fair trial.

Guru had filed a curative petition on Dec 13, 2006 which was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Friday, thereby upholding his death sentence.

The dismissal by Supreme Court ends any legal recourse for Guru, while a mercy petition lying with the President of India remains the only ray of hope for him.

In his curative petition as well as the mercy petition, Guru said that he has been denied a lawyer in the trial court despite repeated requests. downloaded from Kashmir Newz.com.

Geelani was also surprised at the manner in which the court decision was leaked to media. Copyright Kashmir Newz.com.

“Our lawyers were present in the court there till late evening on Friday. They were not told about the decision and asked to come the next day. How did the decision reach the media the same evening,” Geelani said. “It seems even the court wants the issue to sensationalise,” he added.

Guru was handed a death sentence by a trial court along with four co-accused, two of whom were later acquitted by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court earlier upheld Guru’s death sentence in September 2006 and fixed October 20 as the execution date. The decision triggered wide spread protests mainly in Jammu and Kashmir with support from some human rights groups based in New Delhi. Most of the mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir also asked for the commutation of death sentence.

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