NEW DELHI - Indian Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of Pakistani who has been on death row since 2011 allegedly for carrying out an attack on the Red Fort in New Delhi some 14 years ago.
A two-judge bench stopped the execution of Mohammad Arif for the time and referred his case to a larger constitutional bench, after he recently appealed to the apex court against his death sentence, saying that he has already spent 14 years in prison, which is the violation of his fundamental rights.
Reportedly, Mohammad Arif, along with five other accomplices 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. And, 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. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was executed in 2012 in connection with the Mumbai attacks in which over 170 people were killed and Kashmiri fruit-seller Afzal Guru was hanged for his alleged role in 2001 parliament attacks. Kashmiris decry Guru’s hanging.