I have been looking for this matter across Google, couldn’t find the desired details and hence, the delay. I have produced the Scanned Images of 2 such relevant articles in The Times of India- a Newspaper for reference. The entire article has been produced for Reader’s Benefit.
Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN
New Delhi: Parliament attack case condemned prisoner Afzal Gurus mercy plea stands 28th in the chronological list. Those awarded death sentence for Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination come at No.9.In all, 50 such pleas are pending with the President.
So will Ajmal Kasab stand 51st in the queue if he were to plead for Presidential clemency after exhausting appeals in higher courts And would that mean the death sentence can be stayed for 10 years, if not more
TOI sought an answer from constitutional and criminal law experts Soli J Sorabjee,Mukul Rohatgi and K T S Tulsi. All of them said there is no chronological order for dealing with clemency pleas; major cases can be taken up on priority.
This is despite the government’s tendency to put off taking up pleas that are politically uncomfortable.
Sorabjee, who as attorney-general had been consulted by Presidents on many occasions on mercy pleas, said: Mercy petitions are not applications for appointment to civil posts that the government will deal with them in chronological order. The government can take them up according to urgency of the matter.
The mercy plea of Kehar Singh, who was given death sentence for the assassination of Indira Gandhi, was considered and rejected within four months. These pleas need to be considered as expeditiously as possible as per the mandate of the Supreme Court, he said.
New Delhi: If higher courts do not overturn judge M L Tahaliyanis guilty verdict on Ajmal Kasab and the Pakistani terrorist puts up a mercy petition before the President of India, there is nothing to prevent his case from being heard out of turn. Constitutional and criminal law experts said cases can be taken up on priority.
Mukul Rohatgi was forthright : There is no law for dealing with the mercy petitions in chronological order. It is totally within the discretion of the government. How long does it take to decide a mercy plea?
The President is not an appellate authority over the judgment of the Supreme Court. He has been conferred the rare power of pardon that is to be used sparingly. The government takes this power to think as if the President is a super appellate authority over the Supreme Court, he said.
I am not to debate if SC or the President, who is or to be Superior; the essence of this Post would be lost then. This is what I am trying to bring across to the Readers:
- A convict is sentenced to be given death and then his plea waits for another; if not less, 10 years..!! 50 odd people are waiting to die their death for the last about 10 years or so.
- Why pronounce the Capital Punishment if the Plea would take a wonderful period of 10 years to be even heard? And longer maybe.. It was 10 years at the time of posting this article here.
- How Humane is it to make the convict wait for a decade to be decided upon if he would be put to death at all? Isn’t this contempt of Law? Is there one- regarding this, to begin with? Can one be framed; if not already?
- President after the one have also (seem to have) blindfolded themselves. They served their tenure “blotchlessly” and lived. They didn’t let the Decision Making Situation happen to them. Carrying the guilt of somebody’s Life or Death decision is too much of a burden on one’s conscious; so might as well let them suffer in this manner. They must have done something awfully cruel to be served the DS anyways, so what could be worse? Certainly not they having to wait for an infinite time period for their plea to be heard.
- It’s the Convict who suffers the Pain unmentionable in lieu of their verdict. How much more torturous could it be?
- What if a Plea was to be considered and the convict is to be relieved of the verdict? Will that go as a consolation that he served his Punishment anyways? They say Justice delayed is justice denied. I have beginning to establish that the Justice would always be denied; no matter what. People here in India would know what I mean to say. The Court Hearing dates would keep stretching for generations if not more. (I know of a Judge who ordered a Police Investigation after filing an FIR against the Petitioner to seek clarity; this was without understanding that there has to be a Complainant to initiate this. Another date is lost or rather two, the petitioner has beaten around the bush- rather circled it number of times; count a few more months, some other Judge by then and be subjected to his whims and fancy then. Its already been more than 20 years now, the matter is purely civil in nature and is about a mere Company Revival. What would be the point when the Petitioner would cease to exist; what good would it be of to get the charge of one’s own Company? Now, as they say, who would judge the Judges?) Conclusion: Its not the Judges but the system of judgement that would have to prolong itself in order to prove its worth or else how would they reflect upon their busyness?
- What if the convicts file charges that they were denied to be heard for years and hence its against the Principal of Natural Justice? Can they? Would they be let to? Oh, nevermind, they’ll live (or die whatever the case may be)
It is hopeless and a sad situation and that’s an understatement. A dark unending alley it is. We all love to procrastinate and adorn slumber. So be it, after all To Err is Human.. Isnt it? So they- the Death Convicts are now close to becoming Divine?