Vinay Kumar

"No question of any pressure on me"

NEW DELHI: The fate of the mercy petition of Mohammad Afzal Guru, on death row in the Parliament attack case, will be decided as per the law of the land, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has said.

Talking to reporters on board a special Air India flight that brought him home on Saturday night after a five-day visit to Strasbourg and Athens, Mr. Kalam said European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering raised the issue of presidential pardon for Afzal Guru with him on April 25.

``No pressure on me''

To a question, the President brushed aside the suggestion that he was under any pressure with human rights organisations taking up Afzal Guru's cause.

"There is no question of any pressure on me. Yes, Mr. Pottering did raise the matter during a meeting with me. I told him that the law of the land is supreme and it will take its own course. I will take a decision when it comes to me," he said.

Afzal Guru's mercy petition has been pending for the past six months and is being examined by the Union Home Ministry and the Delhi Government.

When his attention was drawn to 22 other mercy petitions pending decision, Mr. Kalam said they could be "at different stages of examination and process."

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