Friday, June 25, 2010

Will Afzal Guru escape death on President’s mercy?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

There is a notion that the poor in India do not get justice. But law of the land is such that even the high profile criminals escape punishment. The law in India awards Capital Punishment but in reality only one death sentence has been carried out since 1995. Dhananjoy Chatterjee is the only person who has faced the gallows in the last 15 years. This perhaps because the rape convict had no political backing. Even Rajiv Gandhi’s murderers have escaped death using President’s mercy.

The latest two cases in news being that have been in news have been that of Mohammad Afzal Guru was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 2001 Indian Parliament attack Ajmal Kasab was found guilty of numerous charges in the Mumbai carnage. Ajmal has decided to approach the Supreme Court while Afzal’s wife has appealed for mercy from the President of India.

The government has opposed the mercy petition for Afzal Guru and asked the President to carry out the death sentence. Centre is now wary of whether President Pratibha Patil will accept its recommendation to carry out the death sentence of the Parliament attack convict. The President is however opposed to the sentence due to her personal belief and the Jaish-e-Mohammad might just escape the gallows due to this.

The Congress is always believed to be against carrying out this death sentence to keep it’s vote bank intact. The case of Ajmal Kasab has however put the government in a situation where it has been forced to call for Afzal’s death sentence. But people waiting to see him stand on the gallows might face disappointment as the President is thinking otherwise. Many people now feel it is a trick by the Congress to both eat the cake as well as have it. President Pratibha Patil was herself a Congress leader and all political appointees in President’s chair have known to protect the interest of their own parties.

The bigger question here is what will be the outcome of President’s mercy if she has it her own way? Will this do good to the morale of the armed forces in the country who laid down their lives defending the parliament? Will their families get justice in the end? Whose interest is dearer to our President the people who enforce the law and sacrifice their lives or those who break it? Can a President’s personal belief be more important than that of the belief of the people of the nation?


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP