President Murmu rejects mercy petition of terrorist Mohammad Arif

President Droupadi Murmu has rejected the mercy petition of Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq, a Pakistani terrorist found guilty in 2000 Red Fort attack case. Read more here!
President Murmu rejects mercy petition of terrorist Mohammad Arif

President Droupadi Murmu has rejected the merci petition of Pak-based terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq who was found guilty in the 2000 Red Fort attack, nearly a case 24 years ago. After taking office on July 25, 2022, this is the second mercy petition that the President has rejected.

Prior to this, on November 3, 2022, the Supreme Court had rejected Arif's petition wanting a review of the judgement of death sentence, while upholding its judgement. Even though the President has rejected the plea, another legal remedy that a death row defendant has is to file a petition at the top court under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution (Right to Constitutional Remedies) to have their sentence commuted based on protracted delay.

As per the President's Office, the mercy request was denied on May 27 based on the plea submitted by Arif on May 15.

The Red Fort Attack case

In the December 22, 2000 attack on the Red Fort, three Army servicemen were killed when trespassers opened fire on the 7 Rajputana Rifles regiment stationed inside the Red Fort premises. A Pakistani national and a member of the terrorist group Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Mohammad Arif was detained by the Delhi Police after four days of the incident.

Mohammad Arif was given a death sentence in October 2005 by a trial court which found him guilty of planning the attack. The verdict was then upheld by the Delhi High Court in September 2007. In August 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty verdict underlining the threat that the attack posed on India's unity, sovereignty and integrity.

President Droupadi Murmu's decision of rejecting the mercy petition goes in line with her previous denial of mercy in a different case and also indicates her strong stance on cases involving horrific crimes.

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