SC seeks govt response on Afzal Guru''s plea

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court today soughtthe Centre''s response on a plea by Parliament attack convictAfzal Guru for transfer to a prison in Jammu and Kashmir fromTihar jail.

41-year-old Guru, who has been sentenced to death forplotting the December 2001 attack, had approached the apexcourt for its directions to the government to shift him to aprison in his home state as his family members live there andthat it was difficult for them to come over to the nationalcapital to meet him.

While issuing notice to the government, a bench ofjustices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha also asked Afzal''s lawyer ifhe would be agreeable to any other place except Jammu andKashmir.

The lawyer appearing for Afzal told the bench that ajail in Pathankot in Punjab would be suitable as it is nearerto Jammu and Kashmir.

The court also asked the counsel about the status ofhis mercy petition to the president. The counsel replied thatit has been pending for the last five years.

In his petition, filed through advocate Kamakshi SinghMahilwal, Guru pleaded that he has a 11-year-old son, whilehis mother is above 80 and it is difficult for them to comeover to Delhi.

He said it is also not possible for his family to bearthe cost of their travel from Jammu and Kashmir to Delhi.

He said the government should either transfer him to aJammu and Kashmir jail or bear the cost of his family''s travelto Delhi.

The court after hearing Afzal''s plea asked his counselif it is justified to transfer a convict to another jail onthis ground.

"Is it justified under the circumstances painted byyou?", the bench asked.

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