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Sarabjit's mercy plea forwarded to Zardari

July 09, 2009 11:54 IST

Sarabjit Singh's mercy plea, requesting that his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment, has been forwarded to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, The Daily Times reports.

The plea was moved after the Supreme Court rejected Singh's petition challenging the death sentence awarded to him earlier.

The Pakistan Supreme Court on June 24 had dismissed the review petition filed by Singh after his lawyer, Rana Abdul Hameed, failed to appear before the court.

Hameed was not able to reach the court on time and missed the proceedings, which worked against the case and an ex-parte order was passed by the court. Later, Sarabjit was given a new lawyer to represent him.

Sarabjit, who is currently languishing in the Kot Lakhpat jail, is a resident of Amritsar. He was arrested near the Kasur border in Pakistan in August 1990.

Pakistan security agencies claim that Sarabjit had admitted that he was sent to Pakistan to carry out serial bomb blasts in Lahore, Faislabad, and Kasur, and was trained by the Indian Army, and the Research and Analysis Wing. However Sarabjit has always maintained that he is innocent.

Sarabjit was awarded the death sentence by a Lahore anti-terrorism court in October 1991.

He had challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court. However, the apex court quashed his appeal in September, 2005, saying that the review petition was not filed within the time period as mentioned in the law.

In March 2006, a two member Supreme Court bench dismissed Sarabjit's petition against his conviction in the Lahore's Yakki Gate bomb blast in 1990.

Sarabjit has been languishing in Pakistan jails for the last 18 years, as Pakistan has refused to set him free, despite continuous efforts by the Indian diplomatic channels.

Source: ANI