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Jun 22, 2009 at 05:35pm IST

Pakistan SC adjourns Sarabjit's mercy plea

Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till Wednesday the hearing of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh's plea against the death penalty handed to him for his alleged involvement in bomb blasts in Lahore.

A bench of judges Fayyaz Ahmed, Qaim Jan Khan and Zawwar Hussain Jaffery that was to hear the plea also issued notice to Sarabjit's lawyer after he failed to appear in court on Monday.

On March 9, 2006, a two-member Supreme Court bench had dismissed Sarabjit's petition against the sentence for his alleged involvement in carrying out four bomb blasts at Lahore in 1990 that killed 14 people.

ACTION DELAYED: Sarabjit Singh plea against the death penalty has been postponed till Wednesday.

Sarabjit, a resident of Amritsar, has been on death row for the past 18 years ever since his conviction in 1991. His family contests the sentence, saying Singh had strayed into Pakistan in drunken state and had nothing to do with the blasts.

Sarabjit was to have been hanged on April 1, 2008 but the authorities put this off after newly elected Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani sought to examine the issue.

Should the Supreme Court turn down his plea, Singh will have the option of making a mercy plea to President Asif Ali Zardari.