The Supreme Court has delivered another landmark judgment in commuting the death sentence of the three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, yet another step forward towards abolishing the death penalty. Even Justice (retd.) K.T. Thomas, who was one among the judges who delivered the death sentence, has welcomed the recent judgment saying that the 23 years the convicts spent in prison was enough and that death penalty after serving a life term is cruel. This verdict only points to the urgent need for speedy disposal of mercy petitions.
This verdict is bound to create problems in the future. It was not Rajiv Gandhi alone but 15 other innocent people who lost their lives in Sriperumbudur. Where is the justice for them? Can the judges explain this? If the commutation is due to a delay in deciding the mercy petitions, then the persons responsible for the delay must be punished.