There is no doubt that the judicial administration of capital punishment is arbitrary in the absence of specific guidelines (“Death is entirely discriminatory,” Sept. 17). But the argument that the death sentence for Ajmal Kasab is a setback to our move towards the abolition of the death penalty is not convincing. Kasab was an enemy of our people and nation. Our nation is in a perpetual state of war against terrorism as are many other nations. This is not a war fought on distant battlefields by nameless soldiers. It is a war raging in our cities. Kasab was thus an enemy soldier. It is only right that the enemy dies in a war.
No death penalty or death penalty for all would be a complete deviation from the principle of awarding the death sentence in the rarest of rare cases. It is for the judge to decide the level of culpability and whether the case falls under the rarest of rare category or not.
Of course, the criminal can appeal against the sentence under the law. A judgment is also based on logical discretion, which is the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.
Kasab, a Pakistani terrorist, entered India illegally with a group of terrorists and killed Indians. Maya Kodnani, a representative of Indians, was responsible for the killing of fellow Indians. Who, between the two, committed a greater crime?
J. Arun Vijay,
Both the Naroda-Patiya massacre and the 26/11 terror attacks were equally grave crimes. But the judges, after examining the two cases and considering the collective sense and expectations of people, have given their verdict with a vision and realisation of long-term consequences of the judgment.