Tamil Nadu is a fit case for imposition of Presidentâ€™s Rule as it is not run as per constitution and its Legislative Assembly passed a resolution asking for mercy to criminals whose petitions had been rejected by the President. Omar Abdullah was right in questioning whether the reaction would have been as muted if Jammu & Kashmir had passed a similar resolution in favour of Afzal Guru. In that case BJP and many other parties would have gone ballistic. There is hypocrisy in Tamil Nadu. Some years back Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution favouring death penalty for the criminals. Parties headed by Karunanidhi and Vaiko were part of NDA which rejected mercy petitions. Ram Jethmalani was member of BJP and did not oppose death penalty then. Madras High Court should not have entertained the petitions and stayed the executions for eight weeks and when that happened Supreme Court should have intervened and vacated the stay. If waiting for death penalty is cruel why extend it by eight weeks? That shows the falsehood of the claim that waiting for death penalty is cruel and an excuse to get death penalty commuted to life imprisonment. What happens in India puts banana republics to shame and there should be a new phrase to describe India.
Tag: Mercy Petitions
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 terroristâ€™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 Gandhiâ€™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.
Death penalty is a deterrent
In one James Bond film it is said: Once can be happenstance. Twice can be coincidence. Thrice or more enemy is at work. On NDTV 24×7â€™s Left Right and Centre on three days Nidhi Razdan asked the question: Is death penalty a deterrent? She implied it was not. My answer is â€œYesâ€.
First time Nidhi Razdan asked the question with regard to remarks by Justice Markandeya Katju about policemen who kill in fake encounters. He had said â€œSuch policemen should be hanged. It is nothing but cold-blooded brutal murder, and yes, police personnel responsible should be hanged.â€ The discussion turned around fake encounters. Y. P. Singh said policemen do a noble job in an unethical way. It is a political call to control crime. The government of the day asks police to finish criminals. When there were gang wars in Bombay encounters took place and criminals disappeared.
Colours of terror
Chidambaram spoke of saffron terror. Some joined issue by saying terror has no colour.
However one describes terror by a particular group there are people who object to the nomenclature. Some speak of Jehadi/Islamic/Islamist terror. Some speak of Hindu/ Hindutva/ Saffron terror. Some speak of Maoist/Naxal/Red terror. There was Khalistani terror. There is terror in Kashmir and North-East India. There is Marathi terror which has forced multiplex owners to show Marathi films at prime time at reduced rates.
BJP and Shiv Sena wanted tough line against terror and Afzal Guru hanged. Nitin Gadkari had asked why there is delay in hanging Afzal Guru, is he a son-in-law of Congress? UPA government recommended rejection of Afzal Guruâ€™s mercy petition over two months back. Pratibha Patil has not rejected of Afzal Guruâ€™s mercy petition. Why are BJP and Shiv Sena quiet? Is Shiv Sena quiet because Pratibha Patil is a Marathi Manoos?
Death to terrorist
On 6/5/2010 special sessions judge M. L. Tahaliyani sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on five counts. People in general expected death penalty and were happy at the judgment. Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam was on all channels.
The death penalty has to be confirmed by the High Court. Thereafter it can be challenged in the Supreme Court. After that mercy petition can be filed. Pratibha Patil does not want to reject any mercy petition and with her as president there is no hope of Ajmal Kasab being put to death.
As of now mercy petitions are decided on a monthly basis, one case at a time. Home Ministry advised rejection of two mercy petitions. Pratibha Patil did not do that. It may take more than two years to dispose of the present pending cases.
Impeach Pratibha Patil
As per one report Indiaâ€™s President Pratibha Patil has refused to reject mercy petitions of murderers sentenced to death penalty. She follows Home Ministryâ€™s advice only when it is to commute death penalty to life imprisonment.
Pratibha Patil, for almost two years after becoming the President of India, did nothing about pending mercy petitions. Now she will take up one mercy petition per month. There are about 26 mercy petitions pending. Most of them were legacy of her predecessors.
Pratibha Patil and death penalty
Pratibha Patil became the President of India on 25/7/2007. Since then three months have passed. There is no news of mercy petitions of murderers sentenced to death. K. R. Narayanan did not reject any mercy petition. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam rejected one mercy petition. In spite of Home Ministry’s decision to reject mercy petitions…