Questions rationale of Khursheed's comment rejecting T.N. resolution on Rajiv convicts

When India asks Pakistan to commute the death sentence of Sarabjit Singh, a convict in the Lahore jail, to life sentence on “humanitarian grounds,” why should it be keen on hanging the three Tamils convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, asks Tamilnet, a website known for its pro-LTTE views.

In a comment posted in a news report, it also questioned the rationale behind Law and Justice Minister Salman Khursheed's comment rejecting the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly's resolution on Tuesday seeking clemency for Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, the three convicts facing gallows in the Rajiv Gandhi case.

It may be recalled that Mr. Khursheed had termed the Assembly resolution “not binding on anybody.”

Sarabjit Singh, also known as Jaljit Singh, an Indian, was convicted by a Pakistani court for his alleged involvement in the 1990 serial bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in which 14 persons were killed. He was given the death sentence and following intervention by the Indian government at the highest level, it was being repeatedly postponed by the Pakistani authorities on “humanitarian grounds.” He is presently lodged at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

Amnesty criticism

Amnesty International, criticising the “executions”' carried out by 23 countries in 2010, termed it the ultimate denial of human rights. “It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the State. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Amnesty said it opposed the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the State to kill the prisoner.

In the last decade, more than 30 countries had abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Fifty-eight countries worldwide now retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes, and less than half of these carried out executions in 2010. Sixty-seven countries, including India, imposed capital punishment last year.

The countries adopted beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection and shooting for carrying out the sentences . Among them China topped the list with more than 1,000 people killed, followed by Iran (252), North Korea (60), Yemen (53) and the United States (46).

More In: National | News