NEW DELHI- India's Supreme Court today stayed the execution of a Pakistani terrorist, who had been on death row since 2011 for carrying out an attack on the iconic Red Fort in the Indian capital some 14 years ago.
A two-judge bench stopped the execution of Mohammad Arif for the time being and referred his case to a larger Constitutional bench, after he recently appealed to the apex court against his death sentence, saying that he had already spent 14 years in prison, which tentamounts to violation of his fundamental rights.
Mohammad Arif, along with five other Paksitanis- of banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, stormed the Red Fort in 2000, in which two Indian Army personnel and one civilian were killed. In 2007, a trial court convicted him of waging war against the state, among other crimes, and sentenced him to death, which was subsequently confirmed by the Delhi High Court. In 2011, the Supreme Court upheld his death penalty. There are some 400 prisoners on death row in India currently. Executions are rare in India, with the exception of two hangings in a span of just six months. While Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was executed in 2012 for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks in which over 170 people were killed, Kashmiri fruitseller Afzal Guru was hanged for his role in 2001 Parliament attacks.