New Delhi: Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru cannot be hanged by flouting the law and “things have to be done according to the system”, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily has said.
Moily told CNN-IBN, Afzal Guru was 27th in the list of death convicts and the law will have to be changed if his punishment is to be sped up.
“I am not saying whether it is Afzal Guru or somebody else. Afzal Guru is 27th in the rank but the question is things have to be done according to the system,” Moily told CNN-IBN’s National Affairs Editor, Diptosh Majumdar.
“The law has to be addressed; the process has to be addressed. The process by which mercy petitions are dealt with has to be addressed as a system,” he said. “I am going to address those problems as a system.”
Afzal, who is accused of aiding the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who attacked Parliament on December 13, 2001, was sentenced to death in 2004.
The BJP, which accuses the Congress of deliberately delaying hanging Azfal, criticised Moily’s statements.
Party leader Siddharth Nath Singh said the UPA Government’s “roll-call” system for death row convicts was “strange”
“The accused has been convicted; the mercy petition is pending. If every time we are going to give a message to the terrorists who come and attack India that there is a roll call then it is strange,” he said.
“The nation is looking at this (delay in hanging Afzal). Systems can be changed in the interest of the nation. We again ask the Government to intervene and if the law needs to be changed we as an Opposition party are ready to support them. Let us work together to give a message to terrorists,” he added.