Tag: A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Politics over death penalty

It is a shame that some politicians want mercy for criminals whose mercy petitions are rejected by the President. Some months back a Sikh terrorist’s petition was rejected and Akali and Congress politicians from Punjab wanted mercy for him. The terrorist had gone to Supreme Court and wanted his petition to be settled one way or other and after the rejection he has gone to court challenging the dismissal.

Now some politicians from Tamil Nadu want mercy for three Tamil terrorists. It is perverse for Karunanidhi to ask mercy for Rajiv Gandhi’s killers claiming Rajiv Gandhi would have shown mercy under similar circumstances. Rajiv Gandhi did not die alone. Fifteen innocent people, including nine policemen on duty, died in the blast. No thought is given to them. The terrorists have appealed to Madras High Court on the ground of delay in decision. Karunanidhi, Vaiko and other politicians who oppose death penalty had lost elections.

Part of the problem is that India had wrong people as Presidents. The delay in deciding on mercy petitions started with K. R. Narayaran who did not want to reject any mercy petition. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam rejected one mercy petition and after that refused to reject. Pratibha Patil did not want to reject mercy petitions for three years and ten months. Governments of the day did not act against them and MPs did not impeach them.

Delay in deciding mercy petition is not cruel. There is no double punishment. Delayed time is bonus for criminals. They get to live longer. There is no anguish or psychological trauma. There is hope.

Jayalalitha said she has no power to pardon and the criminals can go to President again. Subramanian Swamy said the overwhelming majority of people in Tamil Nadu want the three hanged. There is no question of showing any compassion beyond normal process.

It is strange that High Courts entertain petitions related to death penalty decided by Supreme Court and rejected by President. There should be a ban on such things. There should be only one mercy petition and hanging should take place soon after rejection.

Death of Yashwant Sonawane

On 25/1/2011, Yashwant Sonawane, Additional District Collector of Malegaon, was burnt to death by oil mafia criminals in Panewadi, near Manmad in Nashik District. The death could have been avoided if India had death penalty for every murder and had hanged all who were sentenced to death. Every death penalty prevents three to eighteen murders as proved in an article in Newsweek some years back.

There are evil people who call themselves human rights activists and oppose death penalty. For them murderers are human beings, victims are not.

Since 1980, as per Supreme Court judgment, death penalty is given in rarest of rare case. On 21/1/2011 Supreme Court did not award death penalty to Dara Singh who had burnt to death Graham Staines, Philip Staines and Timothy Staines on the night of 22-23 January 1999 as per CBI appeal but upheld life sentence awarded by Orissa High Court which had overruled the lower court that had awarded death penalty. Arnab Goswami of Times Now said if this is not a rarest of rare case I do not know what a rarest of rare case is. Four days later Yashwant Sonawane was burnt to death.

Few people who have been sentenced to death over the years have not been hanged as presidents of India after Shankar Dayal Sharma have refused to reject mercy petitions except in one case by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Pratibha Patil has refused to reject mercy petitions even when the murderer has murdered a dozen or more people including children. Murderers in India have lost fear and commit murders openly. They know they don’t have to pay with their lives for murder.

Impeach Pratibha Patil

As per one report India’s President Pratibha Patil has refused to reject mercy petitions of murderers sentenced to death penalty. She follows Home Ministry’s advice only when it is to commute death penalty to life imprisonment.
K. R. Narayanan did not clear any file regarding mercy petitions when he was President. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam decided on two mercy petitions: one he rejected, another he commuted. Pratibha Patil inherited them and four about two years she did nothing and the number of pending petitions reached 28. Then the Home Ministry reached an understanding with the President that one file will be cleared per month.
It seems Home Minister P. Chidambaram met Pratibha Patil over her refusal to reject mercy petitions and it has been decided when Pratibha Patil does not reject a mercy petition the file will be recalled by the Home Ministry and sent again asking either commutation to life imprisonment or reiteration of death penalty.
Pratibha Patil became President because Prakash Karat vetoed the candidature of Shivraj Patil, Karan Singh and others and he did not know about Pratibha Patil. The Government of India should send all pending mercy petitions together to Pratibha Patil and ask her to reject them. If she refuses she should be impeached and removed from office.
In 1980 the Supreme Court delivered the judgment that death penalty shall be awarded in rarest of rare cases. After that murders went up and started to take place anywhere. Soon there was terrorism.
The then Governments should have been tough with K. R. Narayanan and A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. They let things drift.
India must have a law that makes death penalty obligatory for murder, attempted murder, acid throwing, abduction, hijacking, kidnapping, high cases of corruption and character assassination. India, according to some, is worse than a banana republic. Policemen are attacked and murdered and the murderers get away. When some murderers are caught their comrades abduct someone and the prisoners are let off to secure the release of the abducted person.
Those who oppose death penalty do not consider the sufferings of victims. The opponents call themselves human rights activists but they are murder rights activists. They mislead people in various ways. Sometimes they lie that murders have come down in countries where death penalty is abolished.
When a criminal gets suitable punishment it deters others from committing such crimes. As Rupal Deol Bajaj said “Ruchika Girhotra would not have been molested if K. P. S. Gill had not been given Padma Shri.” Many of the murders and terrorist acts would not have taken place if there was death penalty for every murder.
The Parliament is in session now. The Government must act fast. Pratibha Patil must reject mercy petitions or she should go.
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