The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Thursday strongly condemned the rejection of the mercy petitions of four death row convicts by the President and wondered whether the country was on the path to becoming “a land of serial executions”.
In a statement issued on Thursday, PUCL national secretary V. Suresh said it was extremely concerned at the pattern of the deliberate and surreptitious manner in which rejection of commutation petitions was communicated in all the four cases.
Mr. Suresh said it was clear that the Union and State governments were acting in a manner totally against the spirit of the Constitution and the rule of law “by consciously and deliberately sabotaging and subverting established procedures”. All the convicts are senior citizens and have been in jail for the last 18 years. None of them have any other criminal cases against them. In fact, the same Supreme Court Bench has acquitted them in other TADA cases which were part of the same set of cases in which they got the death sentence.
The convicts’ conduct has been exemplary and they have not been involved in any prison offences in the last 18 years, the statement said.