Afzal hanging not out of political or electoral considerations

Chennai, Feb 9 :  Union I and B Minister Manish Tiwari today said the decision to hang Parliament attack case accused Afzal Guru was taken to further the cause of justice and national security and not motivated by political or electoral considerations. Addressing a press conference here, he said the UPA Government had not shied away from taking tough decisions when it came to internal security and national interests. Strongly ruling out political or electoral considerations on the government's decision to hang Afzal Guru, Mr Tiwari said "whenever we take decisions on national security, we do not keep electoral or political considerations in mind." "Our decisions are not motivated by electoral considerations", he added. 'There has been some narrative in the media that the decision (to hang Guru) was motivated by electoral considerations. There cannot be more untrue than this...the government only keeps both the interests of justice and national security," he said, adding, the decision to hang Afzal was devoid of any political considerations.

Dwelling further into the issue, Mr Tiwari said "there was a dastardly attack on Parliament. Due judicial process was followed and it led to investigation process which 'culminated in prosecution process". It further went through a three-layered judicial scrutiny --trial court, high court and supreme court--during which certain people accused in the case were found to be innocent and acquitted, while some others were found guilty and convicted, he added.

'The clemency process emerged and the culmination of which the government took a decision (to hang Afzal), which it thought was judicious and furthers the cause of justice and national security,' he added. "It was an extremely sensitive decision taken by the government out of circumspection and responsibility. Since some or them were acquitted and some found guilty, there was no question of any fear or favour when you take such important decisions," Mr Tiwari said and called for restraint from all sides as the decision to hang Afzal was taken keeping in mind the judicial and national security issues.

Responding to clemency pleas pending before the President, including those of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case, Mr Manish Tiwari said ''each case has to be judged by its peculiar facts and circumstances. "There is no broad brush or lumping of decisions...each case has to be evaluated based on facts and circumstances and people will come to an apt conclusion," he added. ''Then the President applies his own mind and takes a decison...it is a considered and detailed process. "There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each and every case has to be evaluated on facts and circumstances...there is no need to extrapolate'', he added.

- Agencies

Published On : Feb 09, 2013