The editorial, “Above politics and passion” (Feb.19), was a balanced one. While the Supreme Court’s verdict might ultimately pave the way for the abolition of the death penalty as prevalent in many other countries, the court seems to have lost sight of the fact that there are numerous criminal and civil cases pending before courts with unexplained delays, causing mental suffering and agony to those affected by them. Would it not be prudent to have a time frame like one year or two for the disposal of such cases?
K.P. Sanal Kumar,
What is frustrating about this whole episode is that the government and the bureaucracy have again failed those in charge of maintaining law and order. If Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru could be hanged in quick time, what prevented the government from hanging those who killed the nation’s Prime Minister? The aftermath of this verdict should be the speeding up of the process of scrutinising all mercy petitions.
The judgment commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment is brilliant and exemplary — a landmark judicial moment. The limitation of awarding the death sentence due to an inordinate and unreasonable delay on the part of the executive should result in the abolition of the death sentence itself.
The Tamil Nadu government appears to be indulging in dangerous politics and has done great injustice to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and those others who died along with him. Its announcement in the Assembly that all seven convicts would be released deserves to be condemned. It has only glorified a cowardly terrorist act committed against the state.
P.S. Subba Raman,
The Tamil Nadu government’s move must be condemned in unequivocal terms by all political parties regardless of whether or not they were opposed to Rajiv Gandhi politically while he was alive. There is no meaning in calling ourselves civilised.
Keywords: Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, death sentence commutation, Life imprisonment, Mercy petitions, Rajiv case convicts, Santhan, Murugan, Perarivalan, Vellore central prison, Supreme Court commutation