If Afzal Guru had sworn loyalty to India, I would have helped him, says lawyer Ram Jethmalani

Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru deserved to die, said noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani.

Jethmalani was addressing at a seminar at Bharatiya Vidyapeeth Deemed University New Law College.

"Given the kind of crime he committed, he deserved death. I have only one misgiving. The question of delay in execution cases is pending before the Supreme Court. SC has stayed all executions. How come this case was not covered by it," said Jethmalani.

"Even if at the last minute, he (Afzal) had sworn his loyalty to India and promised by the Quran that he will help protect India from terrorists, I would have helped him out," he added.

When asked if he thought that the back-to-back hanging of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru was an attempt by the Congress government to gain public sympathy before the 2014 general elections, Jethmalani said, "Congress does nothing but corruption."

Speaking at the seminar titled 'Evaluating the Evaluators' Roadmap towards Digital Media Law & Media Trials,' Jethmalani said that the role of media is to keep people informed. He also expressed his concern over media trials and said, "I have been a victim of media trial twice. Once in the Swami Parmanand case and once in Jessica Lal murder case."

Calling misunderstanding in religion the biggest threat faced by Indian society today, Jethmalani said, "Young people need to understand the meaning of secularism. It is unfortunate that religion today is part of body politics."

He said that the Right to Information Act is the greatest achievement of our democracy. "Every citizen has the right to get answers to his question. Politicians are against this freedom. Hence, RTI has come up as a great move to keep a check on all government departments," he said. "Democracy demands complete transparency. Democracy is like a swimming pool where voters act as purifiers of its water," he said.

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