Opinion » Lead

Updated: November 24, 2012 01:57 IST

An act of constitutional impropriety

Madabhushi Sridhar
Comment (114)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

By not informing Ajmal Kasab of his right to seek a judicial review of the rejection of his mercy petition, the UPA government has committed a serious wrong

The hurried and secretive hanging of Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab is both an administrative wrong and a constitutional impropriety. The Manmohan Singh government and the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, owe it to the nation and the whole world to explain why their Home Minister recommended the rejection of Kasab’s mercy petition by the President. To claim this secret execution as a ‘success’ is immature and shows up the constitutional ignorance of the government and its spokespersons. It leads to the inference that the Congress had strong political interests in Operation ‘X’ and wanted to use it to project itself as a courageous administration in preparation for the next electoral contest.


Why was Ajmal not informed about his constitutional right to seek a judicial review of the rejection of his mercy petition? The non-disclosure of vital information that could have saved or extended his life is a serious wrong on the part of the government. It is incorrect to say all legal avenues were closed for Kasab after the rejection of his mercy petition. The judiciary has every power to review and even invalidate the President’s decision (taken on the basis of the Home Minister’s recommendation) if vitiated by bias or for any other wrongful reason.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde claimed that “it is my nature that I maintain secrecy on such things. I am trained to be a policeman.” It is unfortunate that Mr. Shinde does not know that he is not a policeman any more but a Cabinet Minister with the constitutional responsibility of leading the Home Ministry. Some sections of the media have quoted him as saying that even the Prime Minister and Ms Gandhi did not know in advance of Kasab’s execution. His statement that they would have heard the news of the execution only when television channels started reporting it implies he did not share this vital information with his Cabinet colleagues. Had he done so, he might have got better constitutional wisdom, or the Prime Minister might have ventured to seek legal opinion from the Attorney General of India, which is his power and duty under the Constitution. In fact, such a serious matter with international implications and constitutional complications should have been discussed by the Cabinet and also by the UPA, at least for political reasons.

The government’s secret operation prevented Kasab from exhausting all legal remedies available to him to escape or delay his execution. Article 21 that guarantees the right to life is equally applicable to foreign nationals — it is provided to ‘persons’ and not to ‘citizens’ as some fundamental rights are, such as Article 19. As per this right, the state cannot deprive life or personal liberty except according to established procedure of law. It is established in law that the President’s rejection of a mercy plea can be judicially reviewed to examine the material based on which the decision was made.

The Constitution provides the power of judicial review in order for courts to examine the reasons for the rejection of a mercy petition by the President. There are numerous cases in Indian history, where even after the rejection of a mercy petition, courts have exercised this power.

Kehar Singh’s case

In Kehar Singh v Union of India (AIR 1989 SC 653), the Supreme Court asserted that “the question as to the area of the President’s power under Article 72 falls squarely within the judicial domain and can be examined by the court by way of judicial review.” Judicial review is part of the basic structure of the Constitution which even Parliament cannot interfere with. Kehar Singh was convicted for murder and conspiracy for the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, and was sentenced to death. After his appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed, his son presented a petition before the President of India for grant of pardon to his father under Article 72 which deals with the President’s power to grant pardon, suspension, remittance and commuting of sentences in certain cases. The President rejected the petition. Kehar Singh wanted a personal hearing which was not accepted by the President on the ground of not being in conformity with the “well established practice in respect of consideration of mercy petitions”. The President, in his reply to a letter from counsel for Kehar Singh, said he could not go into the merits of a case that had been decided by the highest court of the land. True. The President does not have appellate powers over and above the Supreme Court. He can only go into areas not within the judiciary’s domain in deciding the grant of pardon. He cannot decide any question regarding guilt or quantum of sentencing.

After the rejection of the mercy petition, Kehar Singh’s son wanted the Delhi High Court to restrain the state from executing his father. His plea was rejected. He approached the Supreme Court. A Bench of five judges considered the question whether the President can scrutinise evidence while exercising pardoning power. The apex court took a liberal view and held that the President, in the exercise of the pardon power vested in him under Article 72, could “scrutinize the evidence on the record of the criminal case and come to a different conclusion from that recorded by the Court in regard to guilt of and sentence imposed on the accused.”

However, as explained by the apex court, the President had no power to amend or modify or supersede the judicial record. The nature of the constitutional power exercised by the President in this regard is totally different from the judicial power. Without altering the judgment, the President could remove the stigma of guilt or remit the sentence imposed on him. Thus, the President can go into the merits, examine the record of evidence and determine whether a petitioner deserves mercy or not.

By giving Kehar Singh a hearing, the court also asserted that the function of determining whether the act of a constitutional or statutory functionary falls within the constitutional or legislative conferment of power, or is vitiated by self-denial on an erroneous appreciation of the full amplitude of the power, is a matter for the court to decide. And the court decided that Kehar Singh’s petition seeking mercy be considered as still “pending before the President to be dealt with and disposed of afresh.” The President then again considered Kehar Singh’s petition for mercy and rejected it saying he did not deserve any mercy.

R.S. Pathak, then the Chief Justice of India, explained in the Kehar Singh case that “[p]ardoning power of President is [a]constitutional responsibility of great significance, to be exercised when occasion arises in accordance with the discretion contemplated by context.” The CJ further explained the reason: “to any civilized society, there can be no attributes more important than life and personal liberty of its members … recourse is provided to the judicial organ for its protection … There is always a possibility of the fallibility of human judgment.” The Constitution has provided checks and balances for almost every conceivable situation. If the judiciary is fallible, the President has a chance of making a correction under Article 72. And if the President’s exercise of his power was questionable, the higher judiciary may ask him to reconsider.

This is how the three convicts sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Santhan, Murugan, Perarivalan, secured a reprieve from the Madras High Court after the President dismissed their clemency petition in 2011. Similarly, in the same year, the Supreme Court admitted a plea by Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s wife. He had been sentenced to death for a 1993 terror attack in Delhi, and his petition for pardon had been rejected. The wife of another condemned prisoner, Mahendra Nath Das, also questioned the rejection of her husband’s mercy petition. Through the Supreme Court’s intervention, his hanging was suspended. Even in Dhananjoy Chatterjee’s case, the Calcutta High Court examined a petition seeking a review of President Abdul Kalam’s decision turning down his mercy plea. But it was ultimately rejected and he was executed in 2004.

Violation of rights

Thus, in Ajmal Kasab’s case, he should have been informed so that he could have exercised the last option of seeking a review of the basis of the President’s decision rejecting his mercy plea. The chance of examining whether the President’s action was vitiated by self-denial on an erroneous appreciation of the full amplitude of power has been lost because of Operation ‘X’. It is undoubtedly a violation of the rights of the convict. Even capital punishment retentionists advocate the exhaustion of all possibilities of survival, as a greater principle of precaution, before committing legal homicide. It is now the statutory duty of the Executive Head and also the Union Home Minister, under the Right to Information Act, 2005 to give reasons for their decision in killing Ajmal Kasab. Darkness and secrecy not only breed disease and corruption but also hide them.

(Madabhushi Sridhar is Professor and Coordinator, Center for Media Law and Public Policy, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad)


The hangman’s justiceNovember 22, 2012

Keeping the nation in the darkNovember 22, 2012

Kasab hangs, justice for 26/11 still elusiveNovember 21, 2012

Two deaths and a common chorusNovember 23, 2012

More In: Lead | Opinion

The large number of comments vilifying the author is not very surprising, but I am glad to see several readers defend him. The writer, as one reader correctly identified, didn't judge Kasab's actions: he only pointed out that his hanging was in violation of the Constitution, and so it was. I am also amazed at how every single thing in India triggers an emotional response: whatever happened to reasoning and dispassionate argumentation?

At the 2003 UN General Assembly, in response to Pakistani tirade about Kashmir, an Indian diplomat responded: "... [Pakistan] cannot hope to pursue the goal of enlightened moderation without demonstrating some sign of moderate enlightenment ..." Every time I see people fighting it out emotionally where only a bit of reasoning would resolve the matter, I am reminded of this exchange.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 22:22 IST

I wonder who so many comments are made decrying the author for his views. Nobody is in favour of Kasab escaping the clutches of law or to release him. His criminality is writ large. The point that the author wishes to drive home is, irrespective of who the convict is, whether he was given chance to exhaust all the remedies available to him; whether he was made known his rights. That is all. If the argument of others is to be accepted, there was no need for trial of Kasab. His act was caught on camera. His admission is there. He could have directly been taken to gallows. Or he could have been shot by policemen/soldiers. Government spent that much crores of rupees only to give a logical legal finish. The author has attempted only that.

from:  T.Anand Raj
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 15:46 IST

It is really frustrating to see that the author is arguing for the
rights of a terrorist who heartlessly killed many Indians.
Was this article 21 of our Constitution, on "right to life" , not
applicable to the victims of Kasab's brutal act??
Were the poor, innocent people informed that they are going to be
murdered??Then, why should be Kasab, be informed of the same??
If the knowledge and expertise of the author is used to advocate the
needs and rights of the victims of the event, it would have been much

from:  Mrs.Brinda Joseph Kottayam Kerala
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 13:12 IST

In the name of providing alternate points of view, Hindu often ends up in publishing articles that are not only ludicruous but also disdainful of public feelings. the writer who has not experienced the pain of losing a near and dear in a terrorist carnage has no right to talk about constitution right for Kasab.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 12:08 IST

When a person is sentenced for death punishment and when his clememcy petition is rejected by the President he has to meet his fate.It is nothing but brutal nonsense to bring judicial review into this case.

from:  kirubakaran
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 10:49 IST

I really appreciate The Hindu for publishing an article which brings to
our notice an act of constitutional impropriety. Yes kasab was a
terrorist and killed innocent Indians but we are a mature democracy and
an anarchist nation of hooligans. Government should have provided him
with all the possible options before hanging him secretly.

from:  saumitra joshi
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 02:15 IST

kasab might have done the worst of the crimes and perhaps deserves the
ultimate punishment. period. but we have our own laws and
constitutional provisions to deal with such criminals and we need to
respect our own laws in our own interest and deal with such people
accordingly. kasab should have been informed of the opportunities
available to him even after his mercy petition is rejected the
president of India and action in contravention of the same is
violation of the constitutional provisions and this
case by none other than the government of india. the union home
minister has grossly committed a serious mistake in carrying the
entire operation secretly and trying to take credit for the same is
somewhat disgusting. no big deal in carrying out the execution of a
condemned criminal like Kasab, but to carry out the same in a
constitutional way and without political consideratons requrires more
strength. Prof. Sidhar's article is excellent and deserves all

from:  s v krishna mohan
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 01:42 IST

ok. Let us assume that government would have allowed for review of rejection of mercy petition by the President and also given explanation for rejection of the mercy petition under RTI ...would there be any change in the decision that has been implemented i.e. hanging of kasab. NO is the answer. The only change would be that taxpayers money would be wasted for a longer duration to provide security for him. we shall stop criticizing the goverment for the action taken as the justice has been delivered.

from:  Ravi Sarupria
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 00:49 IST

such kind of article was not expected from the HINDU. you are talking
about the rights of such terrorist who was responsible for 166 deaths!
its a shame....the people who were killed also had a right- the right
to live!!! and if at all,we favour kasabs right,then he shoud know his
duty towards humanity and then can he think of claiming his rights!!!!
Infact,the decision came slow,bt good dat it is finaly done! BEcoz if
it would not have,then feeding kasab,would have just motivated n
welcomed more terrorism.

from:  shivangi
Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 at 00:17 IST

This article is just for the sake of writing a article. The issue is lingering for 4 years.and now when the government after following the due process of law have hanged the terrorist and given justice to the families of the victim, such explanation is not legitimate. first of all kasab was a terrorist and world has seen his misdeeds on cctv. and after dat also govt has given him a very fair trial. and we must appreciate the govt for the same. and in doing the same, somewhat deleted the tag of a soft nation. now the terrorists will think before doing such act. so where is the case for SC review of the president decision. and actually the policy of secrecy adopted by tbe govt was justified. if not so, then these kind of do called human right activists would start crying and giving baseless explanation for not hanging a terrorist responsible for killing 166 peoples.So if one is wearing such kind of glasses that they want to view the world as they think, then no one can help them.

from:  Ravi Sarupria
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 22:29 IST

The author aims to confuse and distract public. A verdict of the Supreme Court including death sentence is not for play but for implementation at the earliest. There is no constitutional right of judicial review after President’s rejection of mercy. The apex court has some times commuted death sentence only on the ground of inordinate delay after its confirmation, as life in expectation death daily for years is considered more than death – until apex Court’s confirmation he could have lived in hope. There is also no delay and prior publicity of Kasab’s hanging could have paved way for more dangers to national security. The threat of Taliban now proves it. The body could have been buried in sea to avoid complications. However India has followed all the formalities. His parents and Pakistan have not come forward even to claim the body or receive intimation. Though the presumption that the P. M. did not know president’s rejection of mercy is surely a disturbing factor, it may not be true.

from:  G. Kannapiran
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 21:45 IST

@Wilson: Every individual under the Indian legal system deserves the same treatment as Indians and the same constitution protections apply. The point (if Hindu would publish my comments) is this: By making his decision to reject public, he sets a precedent that will make the judicial process more transparent and will greatly benefit the Indian people. Justice is blind; the same laws apply to all men.

from:  Leo Caddy
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 21:32 IST

I am proud of this article of “the hindu” where not only in India but
also in abroad the execution of Kasab like that is being stated right
and all media and news channels are speaking the same where “the
hindu” that did it was being expected.
I am in favour of Kasab’s execution but not like that.He must be given
“his constitutional right to seek a judicial review of the rejection
of his mercy petition”.
It was clear at the end ,Kasab would be hanged constitutionally but
now he was hanged unconstitutionally. There is obvious reason for
hanging now that is vote bank for Congress. Such execution proves that
Indian constitution is nothing but it runs according to government and
its leaders. Till then Kasab was vote bank for congress his case was
extended and now his death was creating vote bank for congress so
Kasab was killed.
Thank you very much.

from:  Md. Wasim
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 21:20 IST

This is an exhibition of non-sense. I wonder who made him Professor. The
Hindu should not have published this Article.

from:  Bhagwanji
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 20:15 IST

"The exercise of power by the President is not subject to judicial review except where the presidential decision is arbitrary, irrational, malafide or discriminatory"
How can The Hindu is protecting the right of a perpetrator who has openly killed innocent people.

from:  Arun Singh
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 19:00 IST

to compare Kehar Singh's case with that of Kasab is utter nonsense. Kehar was an Indian national with full entitlements to the consitution. Kasab waged a war, he deserved what he got, although delayed. What about the rights the number of people who were killed in cold blood, who were not even given a 1 sec chance.

from:  Wilson
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 18:00 IST

There are several comments against The Hindu for publishing this article. People have to understand that the article is not about Kasab, but about a convict's right. You imagine someone else's name instead of Kasab, and see if what was done was right or wrong. You will be stumped to know that what was done was wrong. The whole point is that. If you read and understand english, it also mentions that "delay his execution." The Hindu did not go into the merits of the death penalty. It only went on to say what was wronged. You call me anti-Indian, I will call you enemy of the state. A state does not function like this. It is not Goonda raj and does not work on the whims and fancies of the 1 billion + population. Laws are the same for everyone - EVERYONE.

from:  Kiran.
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 17:01 IST

The author is worried about an alien who killed our innocent brothers and
sisters, he may hav technical point in law but he could hav also thought
of huge public money spent for his safety which could hav been used for
other welfare activities.

from:  mohan
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 15:17 IST

Where was this bleeding heart when Kasab and his pals killed the boat
owner on the high seas, where was he when these animals were killing
innocent passengers at CST?
One expected more discretion from a newspaper which one has been proud
to read for the last 30 years

from:  rajan mani
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 15:13 IST

This article is just for the sake of writing an article. The issue is lingering for 4 years.and now when the government after following the due process of law have hanged the terrorist and given justice to the families of the victim, such explanation is not legitimate. first of all kasab was a terrorist and world has seen his misdeeds on cctv. and after dat also govt has given him a very fair trial. and we must appreciate the govt for the same. and in doing the same, somewhat deleted the tag of a soft nation. now the terrorists will think before doing such act. so where is the case for SC review of the president decision. and actually the policy of secrecy adopted by tbe govt was justified. if not so, then these kind of do called human right activists would start crying and giving baseless explanation for not hanging a terrorist responsible for killing 166 peoples.So if one is wearing such kind of glasses that they want to view the world as they think, then no one can help them.

from:  Ravi Sarupria
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 14:49 IST

How on earth this gentle man is finding fault with the GOI and he
expects to give publicity in public media, and persons like him
will take a stay order from our Honorable courts and worst
perpetor of heinous crime of the century KASAB who had the guts
to enter busiest RLY TERMINAL and kill all people without any
remorse , will escape from GULITAINE and GOI will spend another
lot of tax payers money on his living.
Unless such criminals vandalize the family of such authors, then
they will raise their voice, other wise they feel pity.
It is high time, let not THE HINDU extends their hands to such
gentleman who dont feel for the victims families.
Already persons like AJMAL are enjoying hospitality for attacking
our Parliament,would have been executed in other countries.
Let us raise.

Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 14:42 IST

Fair enough. You can choose to publish anybody's comment and i can
choose to buy/read any newspaper.

from:  mvrangaraajan
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 12:14 IST

Such type of article was not expected from The Hindu. They are talking about the violation of rights of a foreign national who was not even remorse for what he did. He himself violated all other norms of being a foreign national & entered Mumbai with his mates illegally.
They are saying violation of rights to a man who was responsible for claiming 166 innocent persons.
Though he was only a pawn in the plot, masterminds are still safe in their haven but still this step was necessary.
Author is completely wrong in saying kasab should have been given a chance to review rejection of his mercy petition. "The Hindu" should refrain from such articles.

from:  Ankit Khandelwal
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 11:21 IST

He was not Indian; and he is also the enemy of the country. therefore I don't think that he should be given the right of judicial review also.

from:  manisha
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 10:27 IST

I fully appreciate your concern of government denying Kasab of the constitutional right to contest against the denial of mercy plea petition the president. However, considering the path he had chosen to follow that caused misery to many innocent people, justice had been done finally.I fail to understand why the judicial process took almost four years to implicate him, when all the required evidence is blatantly available CCTV footage and populist punishment was to hang him. I also find it odd, that a president should has the constitution power to revoke the punishment imparted by the Supreme Court and then Supreme Court to review the decision of the president. Technically doesn't it form a loop with the possibility of the case going on for infinite time if the President's keep changing.I also doubt if Congress had any political interests with timing of the sentence. Had the election been in Maharastra instead of Gujarat it would then have given credence to this conspiracy theory.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 10:17 IST

Very often the release of Santhan et. al in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case may have more to do with local sentiments of the judges than any judicial objectivity! In the instant case, according to the author, the judicial review, can only send it back to the President to reconsider, it cannot overturn his rejection. As such, it matters little substantially.
On a different note, the national jubilation over Kasab's hanging is quite unwarranted. It does not prove that State is a tough actor. After all, The State shamelessly capitulated when Mufti Sayeed's daughter was abducted and during Kandahar's hijack. If it had done hot pursuit and finished off the mastermind J-e-T chief, then one can feel proud. After all, Kasab was literally a poor man whose poverty was exploited by the terrorists. I pity him rather than hate him.

from:  V Ranganathan
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 09:37 IST


from:  Huidrom Kenajit
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 08:12 IST

"Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done." The emotional content of the case, the mood of the people, the final outcome of the case, all would seem to point to a situation where the verdict would be unaltered and Kasab would go to the gallows. And we would say "I told you so", and talk about the virtues of being seen as a strong state and the unnecessary expenses on keeping this man alive. We are a people who have supported summary justice and extrajudicial killings by the very same people sworn to uphold the law. Notwithstanding all this, we have a duty towards a higher God, that of justice. India cannot be seen acting like a lynch mob. It takes courage for an adult to tell the King that he is wearing no clothes. Your opinion, sir, is unwelcome, it jars on us, we wish you had kept quiet. But if you had not shown us our face in a mirror, you would have failed in your duty towards us.

from:  Jayadevan
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 08:03 IST

The difference between civilized and uncivilized is the way one treats one's enemies and
criminals! Rule of law must apply in spite of emotional people baying for blood of the culprit.
More heinous the crime, the punishment is usually more severe. Staying within the rules and
and applying it justly is the duty of the authorities and no deviation from this path is
permissible. Any expedient action taken for some political benefit or personal vendetta will
only set a poor precedent and long term damage to the system. Grieving people may find
some degree of dissatisfaction of the outcome as a verdict and may want to complain
against the verdict. This is understandable. Some degree of postmortem by the informed
media, in cases such as Kasab, is a healthy action to look at all aspects of the law as it
stands, unemotionally,so that any disfunction noted in the existing process can be reviewed.

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 07:25 IST


from:  George Thomas
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 05:43 IST

@G Balamurugan: The Hindu is merely advocating uniform and transparent procedures for the severest form of punishment. Today it may be a foreign national, tomorrow an Indian may commit atrocities. Both have to be dealt with the sobriety and due process of law has to be followed. If we let the mob dispense justice, which you seem to be advocating, we might as well let the Taliban run our legal system.

from:  Leo Caddy
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 04:23 IST

I have read several comments saying that The Hindu is anti-national
for publishing this article and that Kasab did not deserve a judicial
review. You need to realize that all laws should be applied in the
absolute. Leave the humanity grounds for the judiciary/President to
decide. If you decide to pick and choose which law to apply where, you
are giving space for those in power to commit serious violations and
get away with it by citing a previous case.
For example, in the Kasab case, he was not informed about his right to
have a judicial review, now, say some innocent person is on a death
sentence and now he is not informed about his right to have a judicial
review. The people in power will think they got away with it once, why
not again?

It does sound a little far-fetched, I know, but something like this
could happen on a smaller scale. Actually, it does happen.

from:  Ashish Gangal
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 02:50 IST

A mature nation is mature when it can justifiably deal with such situation as Kasab's
trial.Kasab was surrounded by people baying for his blood including ruling
dispensation and opposition.His guilt was beyond reproach.Yet as a mature nation
not as avenging tribal collection of people he should have been given option of
judivial review.Mark Kasab's dying word"Allah kasam aab aisi galati dubara nahin
hogi"He was staring at noose and yet repenting his vile deed.There was an oportunity
where sin and not sinner should have been addressed.Pity.

from:  Diva Das
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 01:00 IST

The author was tailoring his views according to his own observation
towards world. Before claiming any constitutional rights to any
individual, kindly throw some lights on the felony he made. Author
should pay homage to victimized family for their perseverance they
hold quite for a long time to get justice. This is time they should
relish the moment. Constitution rights are written for amendment. If
there is any gap the Author could find in any article, then he might
raise his voice, but not in such crucial situation.

We are aware of our countries economic situation and life style of our
people. Being a Professor how could he raise his voice in no case but
a case like this? Total spending by non-govt org has spent Rs 53cr and
govt org spent 20 cr. This could have used for welfare of people, such
as scavengers, by making Kasab hanged earlier.

from:  Prasannajeet Mohanty
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 00:32 IST

The article assumes that those legal recourses were not given to Kasab. Unless it is established as fact one should not write such article, which will mislead the nation and create unnessary issues. Is the author sure of these as facts before comin to this conclusion? Or is the author merely presumes & assumes as it was not stated in public by any authorities, including the home minister?

from:  K G
Posted on: Nov 24, 2012 at 00:28 IST

The criminal charges against the said person was "waging war on India" . I think it
would be grossly incorrect to compare this case with another.. the fact that it took 4
years to hang him when he did not even take seconds to kill civilians in cold blood is a
disgrace to the whole nation.. havent we given him enough?? It seems the author is
saying that you can come here .. kill us.. and all you need to do is get arrested and we
will give you safe haven for all your life.. it is funny that author is talking about his
rights while completly forgetting the rights of the brave soldiers who laid their lives
fighting this monster.. this is just a cheap stunt by
the author to gain some publicity.. the image of Hindu has taken a nosedive in my eyes
by allowing such articles to be published..

from:  Amit
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 23:49 IST

Justice delayed is justice denied. Reviewing constitutional
"improprieties" and "understanding" why mercy was rejected would have
delayed justice longer. Would you rather then deny this justice to the
victims of the carnage? Kindly survey the victims' families about how
they feel about these constitutional "improprieties"... You are simply

from:  Does It Matter
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 23:40 IST

I don't understand this. All levels of judiciary have upheld Kasab's
death sentence. President has rejected it. Now what? Review the
rejection? What should a government do? It is criticized for every
action it takes. Is there anyway people like you can be satisfied? This
entire judicial probe should have been avoided. Here we have the CCTV
recording showing him killing people mercilessly and people like you
want to provide him every means of help to save himself. All terrorists
should be tried directly in Army Court and executed in front of the
public. The money spent on him could have been used to educate hundreds
of poor children. Its just pathetic. If the home minister had discussed
this matter with his cabinet colleagues and if this news had led to
some retaliatory attacks by terrorists, you would have written an
article criticizing government for its inability to maintain law and
order. I guess its very easy to research and write articles, but to act
in common sense is difficult.

from:  Nishanth
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 23:39 IST

The authors argument that the power of judiciary to review the rejected mercy petition by head of state was applicable to foreign nationals may be accepted, however a guy who entered Indian soil with no VISA or diplomatic asylum and waged war against country cannot be considered for protection under Indian Laws, as he has already breached the primary law of land entering India.

from:  Sankaranarayanan H
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 23:36 IST

The laws are made by men only and not made from unknown sources. It is
formulated by evaluating some arbitrary circumstances. but if situation
demands that it is good for the whole nation to by pass some laws then
we need to do so in order to hasten up the process and punish guilty.
but the author is a book worm he is worried about rules. I pity the

from:  john
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 23:25 IST

Under the authority vested in him/her by the Constitution, Executive Clemency of the
President is indeed a responsibility rather than a mere power. It would have served in
bringing the fact to light that: any person, mob or country which would wage a war
or with a prime motive of creating hostility in India would be treated in the same
manner with which Ajmal Kasab has been dealt with by the Government. Instead of
airing this fact, the Government and its authorities had kept this an cryptic operation
as quoted by the author. The United Nations Chapter in its preamble on Declaration
of Human Rights clearly states that "Every human deserves a righ to Life and that
he/she has been endowed with certain inalienable rights along with some duties". By
and large, this applies practically to everyone except when in the situation when
one's rights jeopardise the rights of large number of other individuals. This is
absolutely when Law Enforcement comes to play to keep things at harmony.

from:  Rajesh Tripurneni
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 23:12 IST

Hanging of Kasab was expedited for political reasons. The Government
drowned in corruption and incompetency wanted to secure some advantage
in the forthcoming election. Kasab had no Godfather after the crime
was committed. Hanging him was an easy task for the government.
Pakistan doesn't want him. The masterminds of the perpetrators of the
crime no more needed him as he had already accomplished their mission.
No state assembly passed resolution against his hanging. No
institution or groups came forward with a demand for stopping his
execution. For the government, it was an appropriate time for his
hanging to score over the opposition in politically If someone
hijacked a plane or abducted the daughter of a minister, Kasab would
have been released and escorted to his safety by the Home minister
himself. HM did not want to leave a chance. So he had to keep
everything in secrecy. His claim that PM and Sonia were not aware of
the operation X is only for the public consumption.

from:  KNPillai
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 22:27 IST

One should believe that all legal avenues are available up to the end
only for an 'innocent' person who by omissions or commissions of
judicial system is wrongly given a death sentence. In Kasab's case,
however, he had asked for it as he had felt no remorse for his
killings.Moreover, it was an act of war against Indian people. He was
caught red-handed in his act. That evidence alone was enough to hang
him. If what the writer has written is correct, then no soldier from
our side should trigger his gun against the enemy of our land, without
getting due clearance from IG/DIG/Chief Minister/Home Minister/Supreme
Court/President ...

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 22:27 IST

I am an Indian and 100% Indian. I love my nation and its people as
everyone does. But I can't justify legal but secret homicide of
anybody, even if he is a Kasab. I believe that Kasab did what he did
because he was a terrorist. But a nation that carries responsibility,
dreams and aspirations of 120 billion is not supposed to hang a convict
secretly and then come and announce the execution, with pride. Imagine,
Kasab had been given a chance to appeal to review the rejection and had
ended up getting the reprieve and then as a jail inmate he would have
spun cotton threads and outfits made by those threads gifted to
Pakistan President. Don't you think this could have been much better an
answer and embarrassement to Pakistan. An eye for an eye is the
argument of terrorists and not of world's largest democracy.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 22:23 IST

In the case of Ajmal Kasab, the whole exercise of trial by the court
is only to prove beyond doubt that an unprovoked mass killing of
innocents was committed and the perpetrator of the crime was Ajmal
Kasab and not to show him all the kindness available under the law. On
the spur of the moment, normal human beings do commit crimes. The law
is for them not to a fiend like Kasab. The police should have shot him
dead on the road like they would shoot down a rabid dog. First of all
let the learned people of India learn to identify and segregate humans
from Angels and demons. Text book knowledge of compassion and humanity
is totally different from practical application. God has created
emotions also, not only brain. Are we better than HIM?

from:  mvrangaraajan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 22:16 IST

this is a stupid article, written for the sake of self-advertising... letting a terrorist live for 5 years in itself is wrong

from:  soundar
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 22:02 IST

no doubt that kasab deserved nothing less than a capital punishment but
there was nothing wrong in giving him a chance to exercise his right for
reconsideration of punishment if that was the procedure to be ...That
is India ..and that must have added to the standard of human rights in
India and would have been an excellent example for the world to follow..

Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 22:00 IST

Only a paper of such a high morale standard and commitment could publish articles like these and the hindu really deserves a praise for that.The editorials and articles published in the last two days where clearly against national mood , but sends a clear message , the respect for human life. state don't have the right to take ones life, whatever crime he has done. Its shame now for us to say that we lived in a country where gandhi used nonviolence against the autocrities of the british. An eye for an eye is a taliban rule and not humanitarian. This is not to support ajmal, but he deserved a life term atleast ,on humanitarian grounds , an illiterate youth fallen in the brainwashing of religious fundamentalist.
Its again a shame on us ,crying over the price of meals served to him, when crores where lost in corruption.
Then whats the need for celebrating in hanging a person who came for dying.
Its fellow maharashtrian ,thukaram ombale who deserve praise and not shinde

from:  vishnu
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 21:19 IST

The Law Professor makes a very strong case in that the secret hanging of Kasab was politically motivated even willfully or recklessly ignoring the Constitutional Law. Playing a game of one upmanship politically, probably to deny BJP a political fight, even in the case of human life is below the belt even for Congress Party and this Administration.

Like other readers have surmised, a judicial review would not (may not) have altered the final outcome yet, it was essential to follow the complete Constitutional steps if for nothing else but to honor the Constitution on which this Republic of India rests.

from:  Subhash C Reddy
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 20:26 IST

I just don't get it. why is hindu hell bent on publishing a string of articles on the propriety of the act of execution of kasab. A recent article has published that in excess of 30 crore of public money has been spent over four years on Kasab.Assuring speedier justice to the victims has never been an attribute of our nation's law making bodies. It is not time to do government bashing, but atleast stand together as a nation in acknowledging the fact that "justice" has been assured to all the victims, especially in this case where the nation had the addtional responsibility of sending a strong message to the international community of its stand on terrrorism.

from:  ST
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 20:22 IST

I was saddened to read all the gloating and 'celebrations' by the indian public on kasab's death. yes, he committed a horrible crime but if the execution was carried out as a 'deterrent' to others, we are sadly mistaken. if anything, this will spurn revenge killings of innocents. he was a 21 year old boy, misguided by extreme elements. he should have been given a chance to reform, even if it meant a life sentence.

as far as this article goes, is india capable of doing anything right anymore? we are led by terribly poor leadership, i fear there is little hope that this will change anytime soon.

from:  naveen
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 20:06 IST

I guess Kasab informed Tukaram Ombale, the policeman who held on to Kasab's gun, about the latter's constitutional rights before shooting him.

from:  Ashok Chowgule
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 19:37 IST

I have seldom heard such meaningless nonsense as the one that is written
in this article - to put it mildly.

from:  Kalyan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 19:18 IST

unless these correspondents eagerly want a hijack or a similar
blackmailing of the government to get this Kasab saved from
gallows, for no other reason than to get into another useless
debate of this sort, what government did is good in law and
the requirement of strategic requirements for meeting
internal and exteernal security of the ocuntry

Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 19:15 IST

I have a great respect for the most honest and informative news paper
of India "The Hindu".
There is freedom of expression in India and everyone is free to put
forward their views.
But this is really very hilarious and shocking at the same time that
few people in my country think that Kasab was not given his proper
judiciary rights. This was rarest of the rare crime against the
nation. Should he had been given a window of hope ?
No Sir !!
In fact the question should be ... Why his trial was delayed for 4
years !!!
Isn't there a system in India that a culprit involved in such crime
can be Hanged till his death ???
No Indian should ever agree with your anti-nation views Sir.
This article is a shame... and it doesn't fit upto the mark of
thehindu's journalism.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 18:52 IST

This type of crimes should be dealt within a year in fast track courts.
All due process including the Judicial review after President refusal
should have taken place. Then the punishment should have been carried
out. Law should be followed in full accordance as applicable. What is
very important is speedy disposal through special courts or by the
supreme court. He would have received the same punishment with all due
process fully complied.

from:  SSK
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 18:46 IST

An insightful analysis. Our Government seems to have erred. Indian
government took pride in providing legal aid and conferring all rights
to Kasab, through out the trial. But this last step of grave error has
undone the human rights and constitutional ethos that were thus far
upheld. A dark moment in our constitutional history

from:  Dr.Himanshu M.
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 18:42 IST

A foreigner who is waging war against the country does not have any
constitutional rights. He should have been tried by an Army court and
not by civilian court.

from:  B.L.N.MURTHY
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 17:59 IST

By publishing this article "The Hindu" deserves to be called an Anti-
National Newspaper! A well trained terrorist whose only aim is to kill,
came to India secretly violating international procedures like Visa and
killed so many fellow citizens in so much of public view, How one can
even imagine to defend such killers? Does the management and the
editorial team of "The Hindu" treats its readers and all Indian citizens

from:  G Balamurugan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 17:40 IST

As it is widely being inferred, if the ill-will of fulfilling "political interests" is, in fact, the motive behind secretly executing Kasab, the Government has, then, committed a grave wrong by tampering with the established practice, if not the law of the land. While the execution of Kasab is said to have robbed the BJP of a chance to corner the UPA Government during the on-going session of the Parliament, it might help Congress in snatching away votes from the vote bank of the saffron party in the ensuing Gujarat polls. However, by keeping the nation in the dark about hanging Kasab, even if he was a terrorist who, along with his aides, committed heinous bloodletting in Mumbai four years ago, the Government has set a wrong precedent.

from:  Bijayashree Parida
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 17:32 IST

It is not clear how the last option of seeking a review of the basis of
the President's decision had not been provided to the convict. This is
not to plead that leniency could have been shown to convict Kasab who
richly deserved exemplary punishment but only to express dismay at how
the authorities had exposed themselves to the accusation by people like
the learned author of the article that the last option remained not
given to the convict.Provision of that option to him would not have
altered the end result but would have satisfied a technicality.Justice
should not only be rendered but should also appear rendered.

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 16:25 IST

Can this government do anything right anymore?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 16:19 IST

First of all ,before being judgemental ,we should keep the plight of
the families of many innnocents who were indiscriminately shot and
murdered in cold blood before talking of constitution and its due
processes.This is democracy and we ,as the people of India ,are in
full agreement with the decision taken by the president.When the
author talks about right to life and personal liberty,what about those
who have died in the hands of the deaceased Ajmal Kasab.Dont they have
a right to life.By not informing him of his last legal option,the
government has only speedened the deliverance of justice to the
victimised families.Even if Kasab would have used the last option
remaining, he would have survived but for a little time. Timely
justice is more important than delaying justice and in this case, the
government stands fully vindicated as the decision was taken with
prudence and was not a maladroit one.

from:  Shaik Rizwan Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 16:08 IST

I really not wish to spent much time on thinking through how to respond
to this article. As a common man i believe hanging of Kasab was
appropriate and well deserved. I feel we should have encountered him
without spending time and money. He definitely does not deserve a trial,
forget about fair trial. And if the author is so concerned about how
international community will respond to this,he need not be. No person
with a little brain is going to waste time drilling this down.

from:  Renjith
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 14:16 IST

judicial review for what? to keep him alive for some more time so that another terrorist can hijack a plane and hold the passengers ransom to get this Kasab terrorist released.

from:  raviraj
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 13:55 IST

This article plays with tears,sacrifices and emotions of a nation
seemingly to satiate one's desire to be called a human rights
champion.Laws do not descend from heaven and get craved in stones , the
intent is to have order and morality.So what sets course for
order...informing Kasab of review procedures or hanging the terrorist
for killing innocents and causing an irreparable damage to their

from:  Pooja Bhat
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 13:35 IST

To whoever was asking him to put himself in the shoes of someone whose 'close
ones' were killed that night, the law works on precedent. This case could mean that
such power of review will not be provided in the future too. Now put yourself in the
shoes of a person accused of murder and understand that it is important to 'follow
the procedure'. If this case was so clear-cut, the court would have rejected his
petition and he would have been hung anyway. But the procedure would have been
followed and the 'right way' for future cases would not have been blurred.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 13:28 IST

this right is only for indian citizin. i think so govt.done good job this time.

from:  harish sahu
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 13:25 IST

The caption of the article itself sounds laughable. True, for every wrong deed people would question, but same goes for every good deed too. The Kasab case was dealt in a fast-tracked manner, to ensure that the terrorists planning to carry out possible attacks in future get the message that India would no longer deal with them liberally. You talk of fundamental rights for a person who mercilessly shot people, without any concern whatsoever for their 'fundamental right to live'.

For a change, come out of your legal textbooks and realize the reality.

from:  Sunya
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 13:21 IST

This is just absurd, the writer is put of his mind on criticizing the
govt. on this matter, he should've hanged years ago. These checks and
crosschecks are endless, I'm sure that if govt. had chosen this
writer's way dealing with kasab i.e. another 10 years and then finally
decided to hang kasab then the writer would have criticized the govt
and system for delay and would've also asked for commuting kasab's
death sentence because capital punishment is immoral. The writer is
just writing to get paid or maybe the 26/11 victims cry for justice
does not reach where the writer has written this article.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 12:58 IST

Thank you professor, for your kind invitation for terrorists. I support your view about governments`s hurry and secret is obviously administrative wrong. I think He must have been Hanged in a live telecast as he killed and wound Mumbai on News channels cameras.

from:  Yateendra Lawaniya
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 12:34 IST

The theories of constitutional complications and international implications were given a go bye on the day of carnage by the perpetrators and all of us were mute witness to the events happening. Till the existence of even an iota of international terrorism is removed, let all the human rights activitists/organisations first fight for non-existence of terrorism before fundamental rights, judicial process are spoken of. Even by his article, he wants only delayed justice to be delivered ie by delaying his execution.

from:  S Janarthanan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 12:30 IST

By violating the constitution this punishment has turned into a murder.
Government must clarify their stand on this issue which will only
increase every Indians faith in constitution and government both.
President must also clarify his stand for dismissing the plea of Kasab.

from:  Rashmi Surana
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 12:27 IST

I reckon it couldn't have been better. Surely, it would have been better if this was done as soon as we got all the information we needed from him. This secrecy about the procedure surpassed the unnecessary hindrances from the human right activists. Moreover, your logic is absolutely absurd. He was given all the rights and was treated according to the correct procedure. Are you seriously saying he should have been given a chance to "delay" his execution? Unbelievable!

As all of us(except a tiny few pretentious attention-seekers like the author himself) would agree, it was justice and proper homage to those who deserved it very well. I agree that this doesn't neutralizes the wrong-doings of the UPA government, but this act was very much appreciable.

from:  Ayushman Chatterjee
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 12:26 IST

I do not understand what Mr. Madabhushi Sridhar is talking about. Want to be different for the sake of being different? Different perspectives are welcome but not absurd arguments.

Informing the accused about judicial review of rejection of mercy petition should have been done by his lawyer(s) and not by the Government.

A court gives a judgement. An higher court confirms the death sentence. The Honourable President of India rejects the mercy petition. Then why should it be again reviewed? Death sentences are given only for 'rarest of rare cases', then confirmed by the higher court and then mercy petition. After all this, back to square 1? The money spent for Kasab 's security is known. How many crores have we spent for Rajeev killers?
Same people will write saying judicial process is slow in India. I think these people just want their names to be published. They do not care about the system / country.

from:  Ilanfo
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 12:15 IST

Kindly request writer of this article to meet any family who lost there loved once on 26/11, he will get to know who was deprived of justice and who got it. If you have such a great knowledge of law and constitution then it is my humble request to please touch other relevant matters as there are lot in this world and India.

from:  Akash Kumar
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:56 IST

The most important point about 26/11 is not Kasab, or Pakistan, or terrorists. It is that the Indian Intelligence Services are lousy. Indians should have rapped their government to ask how this could have happened. What are our Intelligence doing? And our lousy security systems - how could a few young men come in boats and hold Mumbai to ransom? And then 26 10 is also very much about our ill-equipped police and the fire fighting system who were helpless in the face of an emergency, had old-fashioed weaponry, no action plan and in short, were simply helpless.

Most Indians miss these points totally. For them it's all about Pakistan, muslims and as somebody put it, the errand boy, Kasab.

from:  lakshmi
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:48 IST

I fail to understand the rationale of judicial review in this case. The Supreme Court has
already declared it to be the rarest of the rare case and awarded death penalty to kasab.
The judicial review would have made sense only when the president would have pardoned
the guilty.

from:  Sritik
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:42 IST

Just want to ask the writer, what evidence or reason he has to say that
the decision of rejection of mercy petition was not known to Ajmal
Kasab?. If it was known to him, there has been done nothing wrong. But
if Government hanged him suddenly without letting him know that his
mercy petition was rejected, I agree with the writer.

Laws are as strict as they are implemented!

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:38 IST

Though I am happy that Kasab has got his just desert, I agree with the author that the UPA has committed a 'constitutional impropriety' by not informing Kasab that one last option was available to him following the rejection of his mercy plea by the president because otherwise the judicial process he was subjected to seems truncated. Whether or not that would make the consequence any different is another debate but if we were not ready to see the legal process run its full course why initiate it in the first place? On its part, if the government had thought that in the face of rising criticism of its policy decision and failure of governance, it would earn some goodwill for itself and demonstrate decisiveness by using Kasab as the fodder in the political canon, it is utterly mistaken. The UPA cannot claim any credit for the speedy trial and execution of the lone surviving terrorist of 26/11 since it is the regime whose failure of intelligence had led to the massacre.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:37 IST

There are always exceptions to the rule. When the stakes are high the
pseudo morality of expanding the legal honorifics should be avoided.
While I am not holding the banner of UPA, fully convinced that they
have done this execution with ulterior motive, Kasab waged a war
against our country and killed hundreds of civilians. Probably the
correspondent would not have written this prosody had he seen the
blood stained concourses of CST, broken window panes and fear of death
in every ones's eyes. I had that sad opportunity to experience it, on
the next day of massacre. I was "fortunate" to take the earlier train,
from PF 4 and missed my finale by a whisker. Let us start living for
ourselves. Let us not do what Nehru did, instead of developing India,
he wanted to be lauded as Statesman by the world and quick to jump the
gun and earned the wrath of many countries. Let us respect our lives
and automatically others will respect us. Let us take Israel's example
of living with dignity

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:25 IST

Art.72 is not in the nature of a judicial power, that it has to be
subject to multiple scrutiny efforts. I was wondering if the import
of this piece was that there should be another attempt to appreciate
the evidence that has already been sufficiently appreciated by all the
judicial fora as prescribed by the law. Or is it that people are
still smarting at the surprise with which this event has been
disclosed to the country. As the author said and also quoted Justice
Pathak, when a decision is taken by the President on the mercy
petition, there should be a subtle application of mind. I am sure the
President we have elected does that and all the necessary procedures
have been followed.
I am only thankful that the author has not pointed out that the
President has been selective in his decision by jumping the queue as
alleged by Pakistan.
Let this debate on the nature of the pardoning power be rested now,
the President rejected the petition, as this matter was infallibly

from:  ramani
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:18 IST

Yes..I agree with of the fellow readers/writers.It has become a
fashion to criticise the govt.for everything they do.It looks it is
a two-edged sword.If Kasab was pardoned people would have "cried
hoarse" and called the govt..specially the PM as 'weak'.Now that he
is hanged the "highly educated" people start nit-picking .
We Indians cannot be convinced.

from:  J.S.Acharya
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:06 IST

Even before one comes to read half of the article one can easily see that the article writers intention is to show his punditry of law.
Its everyones common knowledge that the person in the question here is the one who crossed the border to spill blood on the streets. Is 4 years of drama that has happened in the name of his trial is not enough for our dear writer. When the Courts have awarded death punishment to the criminal what purpose of justice is to be sought by making a review appeal again in the same court against the rejection of mercy petition, except for getting some more fees to the lawyers.
Dear writer and law expert, I want to ask a question - If a terrorist against whom there is all the evidence in the world to hang him is not sufficient for you, then just how many years you think will it take in a case where the police have to do an investigation and unearth the evidence?

from:  Anant Pathak
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 11:04 IST

The Criminal justice system is in a great mess today because of legal trade unionism and advocacy of extreme individual rights vis a vis rights of the society presumably to protect the legal business. The Supreme Court is partially aware of the problems(it is not a question of more courts or judges but the myriad laws and procedures and the narrowly legal, not ethical, approach to problems our leaders and lawyers have)but is doing little about.The most recent instance is on sentencing. There is no serious approach to a sentencing Commission or sentencing guidelines.And we are into perennial reviews. There ought to be closure in matters, not like the expensive and pointless adjournments the system is fond of.

from:  bmniac
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:56 IST

Respected Sir,

The attack on India on 26/11 was an attack on the collective
consciousness on Indian Nation. Despite this the state provided Kasab
every opportunity during the last 4 years to be heard. Providing him
all the legal aid, allowing him to file a mercy petition, which is his
right (and even Biryani). A total of around 30 Cr Rupees were spent so
that he can face a secure and impartial trial. No other nation could
have provided him such objective trial as was provided by India even
though this was a war on Indian Nation. To suggest that had there been
a review petition the outcome would have been different is not only
naive but also indigestible. And at a time when we are having Pakistan
Judiciary delaying the trial on 26/11 masterminds (and which is
forcing India time and again to seek speedy trial), to say that the
review petition could have delayed the Kasab execution is out of sync.
Also,media has already played its part(positively and Negatively)in
these 4yrs.

from:  Anoop Chandaliya
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:50 IST

If so, let us amend our constitution to accommodate the new realities of these 50 years

from:  Pon
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:50 IST

No, it is not true, Kasab has no right to challenge rejection of mercy
unless he can show some impropriety in the rejection, he has of course
an opportunity to seek judicial review but the jail authorities or
government have no duty to inform him of that way. Only the jail
authorities are statutorily bound to appeal/send an appeal to the High
Court/Supreme Court in the first instance against the death sentence
itself. And it has been done and no wrong has been done. It is not
compulsory that the President's rejection should be challenged or that
even if it is challenged, unless the superior court grants stay, he
should not be executed. Kasab had time to challenge after Pranab
rejected his mercy petition - I think about two months back. Neither
Kasab nor anybody on his behalf seem to have challenged the
Presidential decision. As such his hanging was perfectly in order and
not against any principles or procedure of law. The secrecy maintianed
was quite essential and commendable.

Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:50 IST

Forgive my ignorance, but doesn't a constitutional right, as it were, apply only to citizens of the country in question?

from:  Kapil Kaisare
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:42 IST

Thanks for giving an open invitation to all the ones who attack INDIA,which indirectly states "you can come and attack INDIA at any time and kill any number,we and our laws are very generous".I dont understand why it happens only in INDIA.Why cant our laws be as strict as in the other countries ? Rather than regreting that it took so long to kill him ,you are just picking a flaw.26/11 Mumbai terror attack is not a dream,Wake up sir.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:40 IST

Your approach is highly theoritical.The truth lies in the fact that we have been following the procedure established by law for four years to safeguard the fundamental rights of one terrorist at the cost of the rights of hundereds of victims of the 26/11 attack.It is not a hidden fact that had he been granted this right, the result would still have been same and all it would have done is to extend the whole process substantially.Moreover, the judicial review is made available only subject to the conditions laid in Maruram's case(1980) which allows it subject to irrational, irrelevant, discriminatory or malafide considerations or for that matter even political vendetta, none of which could be established by the victim's counsel in the present matter.Nowhere is it required that the victim needs to be informed of this provision and Ignorantia juris non execusat is one of the fundamental principles of the law of the land.

from:  nidhi
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:37 IST

Mr.Sridhar wants to become a so called intellectual and a soldier of
freedom. He has written something just for the sake of writing. I wish
these Roys, Nayyars, Khares etc. think beyond free thinking. Why they are
shouting all their sermons on freedom, choices, justice, tolerance, etc.
only on us? Is it just because they are able to bear their
rants always? Or they think they have the moral superiority to educate
them? I pray to God to make these people show some love towards the nation
and people and let them as they want to be.

from:  venkatesh
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:33 IST

It seems writer of the article is sick. A normal person
can't go that absurd to differently identify him/her. Different perspectives are welcome but even that also demand logic.

from:  gaurav
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:29 IST

Theroy over common sense. You will always find a group of people , whose intention is to create a debate out of nothing, prolong the process and later call the system slow.
It is common knowledge that the crime perpetuated by Kasab was an open book.Therefore why are some elements interested in dragging it more.
Death penalty is not the best way to punish a criminal. Isolation till death, will be more punishing. Try to remain locked up alone for a day. You will want to be hanged. So is the punishment of solitary confinement.

from:  ANIL PAUL
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 10:09 IST

It has been apparent all along that the Congress party takes each and every decision keeping their vote banks in mind. Now Kasab's hanging reconfirms this trend, if anyone still had any doubts. It is a shame that the Home Minister is taking pride and asking for credit for something which they have delayed for no reason. It should not have taken 4 years to hang Kasab in view of the clear evidence available in this case, and the resources committed by the govt to give justice to the dead on 26/11. But for vote bank politics Kasab could have probably survived some more time but then Gujarat elections and Congress party's ambition to topple Narendra Modi meant Kasab had to be 'sacrificed' for achieving the party goals. Kasab no doubt deserved death by hanging, but the timing of the execution as well as Constitutional breach brings shame and disgrace to the nation. I shudder to imagine the mayhem this party will cause if they get a majority on their own.

from:  Abdul Hamid
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 09:56 IST

writing an article,just for the sake of an argument, is what you have done. While it may be "improper" in the strictest sense of the law, what exactly do you want? That Kasab's trial should have gone on indefinitely, and tax payers' footing the bill thereto? What is the guarantee that some joker may not put it into his head to free that guy in the future?? I hope you were not sleeping when he walked around mumbai with an AK-47? You are hiding you arguments behind the cloak of "constitutional law". Would you have said the same thing if you had lost a near one?

from:  sam
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 08:53 IST

In the era of transparency, even the deeds of judiciary is demanded to
be under the public eye. Here the person's FR has been snatched. So its
the duty of the government to provide information in this regard.

from:  Love Gogia
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 08:51 IST

The state, i.e the executive is not obliged to inform the accused of
the possible avenues of appeal. It is the duty of the court and (in
this case) the lawyer representing him. This procedure was complied in this case.

from:  Sridip Nambiar
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 08:51 IST

CCTV video footage and Kasab's own submissions played over TV screens
multiple times proved his guilt but by maintaining this secrecy our
system has proved that not everything was legal and moral behind
hanging him. The world had seen the misdeeds of Kasab and his mercy-
less partner Ismail on 26/11. When the world had seen them butchering
people then there was no point in hanging him secretly. The decision to
hang him should have been put in public domain, in general and in media
and activists domain in particular for discussion. Those privy tho this
secret killing are seeking to fig leaf their impropriety suggesting had
they announced the hanging plan, human rights activists could have
delayed or even pressed for remittance. This ground itself proves the
wishy-washy. If the executors believed that they had unquestionable
ground to hang Kasab they should have faced every trial, by media,
activists and all. I'm ashamed of this legal 'immorality' of my

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 07:58 IST

I think that the Supreme Court's decision regarding the Kehar Singh's case itself needs to be reviewed. The authority to pardon is vested with the Executive Head of the country. Why his decision be subjected to legal scutiny? Is this endeless web of checks and counter-checks desirable? Let us not complicate the issues. The simple fact is that the President has power to decide on mercy petitions. He can decide it either way, based on meris and demerits of the case. There is no use of needlessly prolonging the process by simply sitting on it, as most of past presidents did. This is an ineficient way of functioning and an admission that the the Executive Head of the country is incapable of arriving at a decision. Once he has decided, there should be no further review. After the judiciary had already performed its role by awarding capital punishment, why does it want a back-door entry in the process to ensure reversal of its own verdict? This is illogical and absurd.

from:  Pramod Patil
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 07:11 IST

No one can deny that Kasab was given all the protection under Indian laws. It is nitpicking to say that President's decision could have been reviewed one more time by the Supreme Court.

from:  subramanian ravi
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 07:07 IST

I agree with the writer of this column.Additionally this hasty decision taken to influence Gujarat election has robbed India an opportunity to allow the judicial commission from Pakistan to interrogate Kasav to take a conclusive end to punish the main actors of the Mumbai massacre.

from:  atis
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 06:39 IST

What about the rights of all the innocent people who were shot by this
guy. What about giving them notice.
This guy has been given enough legal help. Don't make this a an endless
appeals process with no action. I hope you are not teaching this
nonsense to your students in law school.

from:  vvk
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 06:18 IST

Australia does not have a Bill of Rights as they have largely embraced the 'parliamentary sovereignty' model from the British, even though they have a Constitution. From time to time there have been discussions on whether Australia should have a Bill of Rights. The main argument against the Bill of Rights is that it will strengthen the hand of the Judiciary (unelected) and Judicial Activism will be rampant. This argument seemed specious until I read this article. This is a great example of an out of control Judiciary where it is reviewing its own decision of death sentence (which I assume it did not pass lightly)and that too by a lower court. I am now firmly against a Constitutional Bill of Rights for Australia.

from:  Bala Varadarajan
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 05:38 IST

So much is discussed, written, and advocated about the rights of the
murderers but no one is there to protest, deny, punish those who harm
(by words, actions, fanning hatred) ordinary humans. Why don't these
persons who eulogize for the criminals make efforts to curb crime
itself? All these knowledge to write articles after articles can also be
used against those characters who brainwash youngsters to go and kill
innocent people.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 05:12 IST

I have one basic question to the author of this..Why should Indian judicial process be applied to a foreigner and that too a terrorist? Do you question in the same breathe the mis-carriage of justice for a common man in India?

from:  Lakshmi Narayana
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 05:07 IST

I am unable to appreciate or understand the law and the judicial process in India.After Kasab's appeals in courts against his conviction and sentence were turned down all after due consideration of the laws of the land,his mercy petitions to the SC,Home Ministry and the President were also all rejected by all the appellate authorities,one cannot imagine why a further opportunity should be given to him for seeking a review of the basis of the President's rejection of his mercy petition.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 04:53 IST

This article is a slap on the face of victim's families who lost a dear one from the bullets sprayed by Kesab. Constitution, Human Rights, Judicial review are for people whose crime is one of emotion. Kesab and the likes of him do not deserve any such sympathy.
All the author has done is to show his credentials as a humanist.
Please stop this kind of drivel.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 03:30 IST

Is it the responsibility of the Government to inform someone on death-
row of his options? Or is it the responsibility of his lawyer?

from:  Kaustubh
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 02:19 IST

Don't know why the hindu is so very against this present government!
Every now and then we get to read off-congress articles and phrases.
And why aren't you praising their efforts of getting that crook hanged?
Isn't this we all wanted, so as to avenge the growing terrorism on the
lands of Pakistan? and moreover feeding and serving a terrorist for 4
long years for no reason has already drained 30 crore public money, so
its good that we have got rid of him.
and if it had been some other criminal we would have surely welcomed
the writers's idea, but now point of focus is kasab. So obviously, we
must appreciate government's decision this time instead of ridiculing

from:  surabhi
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 01:57 IST

We would make fools of ourselves if we consider terrorists at par with
petty criminals. I find the argument of providing full course of the
law to a terrorists pretty befuddling. Here is a man who has clearly
violated pretty much every fundamental right of citizens and we are
ready to give him full facility of the law? In my opinion we need to
have fast track courts for such cases with absolute and binding
decision on the accused. And with our painfully slow judicial process
it is even more befitting to say that complete judicial process is not
needed in a case in which he should have been shot at the crime scene
itself by the security forces.

When a person violates our borders, should we ask our security forces
to try and capture him and provide full course of law to him/her even
at the cost of lives of our soldiers in the process. No, it is more
befitting to shoot the man at sight after having established with
enough conviction of his intentions. The same scenario applies to

from:  Abhinesh
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 01:44 IST

I am confounded by the rationale of this article. Just because something has a precedent it
does not mean it is right, in fact it sets a dangerous trend. The presidential pardon is the last
resort after all legal avenues have been exhausted, how is it justified for a lower court to stay
an order passed by the supreme court? For that matter, how can the supreme court rescind
its own pronouncement of hanging, in the absence of new evidence? Leave aside the moral
questions behind capital punishment, in this case all legal options have been exhausted and
it is a good example of speedy justice. Does the author want death row convicts to suffer
interminably with their hopes swinging from hope to despair? Writing a counter point just to
garner some attention is reprehensible and the hollowness of the article is proved when
Sonia Gandhi, who has nothing to do with day to day governance is dragged into this. A
discourse on the abhorrence of the death penalty would have been better.

from:  Arvind
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 01:41 IST

I fully agree with the write: transparency is utmost in such important actions. The problem is that India is, sadly, a dysfunctional democracy: procedures are arbitrarily followed, if at all; and when they are, they are often incompletely followed. If a full judicial review had been ordered, it will give politicians so much more time to and opportunity to stall the process. The President and the Home minister must explain their decisions so that a precedent is set, whereby in future Presidents and ministers do not think their decisions will be questioned.

from:  Leo Caddy
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 01:35 IST

Brilliant Article. By executing him secretly we lost the righteous
advantage before the world. Worst that neither PM nor Cabinet was
involved, if the highest leader of this land was not informed of these
crucial decisions, what is he there for? All judicial avenues should
have been provided to Kasab and then only he should have executed.
Congress just to cover up their wrongdoings, has done an great injustice
to the law of the land.

from:  Srinivasan Iyer
Posted on: Nov 23, 2012 at 01:09 IST
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