The agony of awaiting death - The Hindu

The agony of awaiting death - The Hindu

My view:

One is reminded of the Apex Court observation that “A punishment which is too cruel or torture-some is unconstitutional”(Inderjeet vs State of Uttar Pradesh, 1979). At a time when every crime and every punishment is ‘celebrated’ by many political parties and a section of the media, sane voices like this is a rarity which one look forward to confirm that still there is hope for those who trust in rule of law. When almost three-fourth of the nations can abolish death penalty, one hopes India will also follow suit, at some poit of time. The prevailing uncertainty about the rights and wrongs about death penalty could be one of the underlying reasons for the hesitance on the part of the executive in acting fast and occasionally, the bench and the bar getting confused about the quantum of punishment where the crime per se deserves the highest possible penalty. Writers of Article 21 of the Constitution would not have anticipated the possibility of extending the ‘procedure established by law’ taking decades to complete. Viewed in this context, the January 21, 2014 Supreme Court pronouncement, if taken seriously and in the right spirit by the law makers and the executive, may bring solace to several who are silently suffering the agony of solitude in jails without getting an opportunity for being heard.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram


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