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‘Two Delhi Chief Secretaries had warned of law and order problem'

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Tea party:Delhi's Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with the new Delhi High Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra soon after his swearing-in at Raj Nivas on Monday.
Tea party:Delhi's Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with the new Delhi High Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra soon after his swearing-in at Raj Nivas on Monday.

Special Correspondent

This led to delay in giving opinion on mercy petition by Afzal Guru, says Sheila

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday attributed the delay in giving an opinion on the mercy petition by Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru to the fact that two Chief Secretaries of the Delhi Government headed by her had expressed concern about the law and order situation that could arise in case of capital punishment being meted out to him.

Speaking to media persons at Raj Nivas here after the swearing-in of Justice Dipak Misra as the new Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court by Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna, the Chief Minister said it was due to the sensitive nature of the case that the opinion took so long.

She clarified that both the present Chief Secretary and his predecessor had noted on the file that it was a sensitive issue and needed to be handled properly.

Ms. Dikshit said during the Lok Sabha elections, too, she had made a mention of the fact that the file had not been cleared since it was a “sensitive issue”.

However, the Chief Minister was quick to point out that the Delhi Government was not opposed to the Supreme Court verdict: “I just want to clarify that we never had the intention to oppose the Supreme Court verdict. We will never do that. Afzal is in jail and he will continue to be in jail.”

The final call in the matter will be taken by the President who will decide on the mercy petition, she said.

Ms. Dikshit, who had signed the Afzal file last week before it was sent to the Lieutenant-Governor, also defended her stance by stating that even Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had warned of a law and order problem in case Afzal Guru was hanged.

In the meantime, L-G Tejendra Khanna, who had sent back the file last week to the Sheila Government for some urgent clarification, is now studying it and is expected to send it to the Union Home Ministry through the Home Department of the Delhi Government soon.

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