The ugly oath and capital punishment
“An eye for an eye makes theWhole world blind”These words of the noblest soul ofthe past mellenium still with ascending vibrancy reverberates in the conscience of humanity. But it may bethe cruelest irony that the assassin of Gandhi was awarded capital punishment
The most cogent and intelligent argument put forth to abolish death penalty was made byJustice VR Krishna Iyer,a former Judge of Indian Supreme Court and adistinguished champion of civil liberties and human rights. Thus speaks his mind: ” The State cannot kill, even if a private murderer is found guilty of terrible killing. Refined jurists have supported this humanising process which I described in one of my judgments as Operation Valmiki. Valmiki was a forest robber who went to the extent of even murder, but when he was chastened by a saintly message he proved to be one of the noblest souls in the cosmos who composed the Ramayana and is regarded as perhaps the greatest epic poet in Sanskrit. It will be the grandest event of our century if, as a universal rule, death penalty is abolished.” This great Jurist accepts the transformatory effect of the first utterance of poet Valmiki- Manishada.According to him Indian civilisation accords people the rightto reform oneself. In india by Article21 of the constitution validates death penalty.According to this article” No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.It is due to the grace of god that the Indian Judiciary has evolved the principle of “rarest of rare cases” to reduce the number of death sentences
Though thegreat Constitution makers of India validated the death sentence contained in Indian penal code ,the colonial document, they also included space for love and compassion by investing article72of Constitution with. Power of President to grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases pardioning power with the President of India by article 72 . thus says Article72:
(1) The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence
(a) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court Martial;
(b) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
(c) in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death
(2) Noting in sub clause (a) of Clause ( 1 ) shall affect the power to suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death exercisable by the Governor of a State under any law for the time being in force
The president of India excercises his /her pardoing power as per the advise of the cabniet of Indian Union (the constitution makers might have been the belief that ministers will be persons of love and compassion.The legalty and morality of the advice tendered by the cabinet in which one person with dominant role is a self confessed man ‘without love’ Sri A.K.Antony, who ruled the people of Kerala without love on oath and it was justified by him and also escaped unscathed from the rigours of Indian laws, this author petitioned the former President of India Dr. Abdual Kalam. The office of the President forwarded this petition to the office of the Prime Minister and there ends tragically the story.
At present, five mercy petitions of death sentencees are rejected by the former President of India Smt.Pratibha Patil . Hence this author again took up the matter on 10th December 2011(International human rightsday)for the good quality of mercy with the President . The office of the President hence forwarded this matter to the Chief secretary of kerala as if he is the sovereign of India ,but the Vice President of India’s office has forwarded this matter to the union home ministry for review of the rejection of mercy petitions the ministery of law and Justice also forwarded this matter to the home ministry for reconsdieration of the rejection of mercy petitions, It is hoped that there will be light at the end of the tunnel
But despite the lapse of many no action wastaken by central home ministry on this matter related that too forwarded bythe vice President of India this author took upthis with the Human Rights authorities of Indian Nation.At first it was taken up with the TamilNadu Commission requesting to directthe Chief Secrereries of all states and Union Territories not to execute any convicts of India tn death row till the disposal of the representation of this aurhor on this matter,which was forwarded by the vice President of India, by the Central Home Ministry in a humane and lawful manner.Similiarly the kerala human rights commission was also requested for thi Justice .It is fortunate that both these commissions positively responded to this matter.TheTamilNadu Commission had forwarded thismatter to the Registrar(Law),National Human Rights Commission for necessary action.But it is unfortunate that this National Commission has not so far acted in this matter. The most auspicious response on this matter was from the Office of theState Human Rights Commission of Kerala. Justice JB Koshy ordered this author to approachThe National Human Rights Commission.It is also ordered"However,if there is any specific case in kerala state, petitioer can approach this commission with copies of the judgement etc.