About Me

My photo

Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Monday, 26 November 2012

NEED TO ABOLISH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL IMPROPRIETRY IN HANGING AJMAL KASAB!

Lamentably, over 60 years of the independence of India, we carry the retrograde burdens like death sentences in our statute book! We Indians are moving in the beginning of 21st century when the entire nations of the world are striving hard for progressive measures to enter new culturally ,and humane society as well as advanced technology  .And in India old and ancient fashions and orthodox , mixed with  feudal thinking  contiunes to take driving seats ! We  have miserably failed to adopt a humane approach towards-men-kind.and death penalty is existing when there are needs of reforms of guilty people for heinous crimes. Why a culprit for death  is not confined in jails for whole life in the process of reforming him? And instead of that in India, there are craze for violence in the form of death penalty . No doubt the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab had committed heinous crime and killed many persons and his capital punishment is justified. But Our Constitution has many provisions to complete the paraphernalia before the hanging could take place to any person, guilty for murder or  even for worse type of crimes. Only after exauhstation  all legal formalities , extreme step of death penalty could be considered!

Recent instance of hanging of Ajamal Kasab in hush -hush and secret manner has left behind many unanswered questions! Such secret hanging of Kasab is injustice. Ajmal Kasab , a terrorist and a killer was hanged to death in Yerwada jail in Pune on the morning of November 21, 2012 in secret manner following the rejection of his mercy petition by the President of India Mr Pranab Mukherjee. The operation of hanging Kasab was code named " Operation-X" by the Maharshtra government. Kasab was young and belonged to a poor family of Pakistan and had only primary education to his credit. Society in Pakistan made him a terrorist and killer and in despair, Ajamal moved to the crime and terror world.. And his guilt in 26\11 round of murders of innocent people in Mumbai landed him to such pathetic end of his life. There are many loop-holes in hanging Kasab. At one point, the administrative lapses in hurried and secret hanging of Kasab has pointed out the "constitutional impropriety" of the entire procedures of hanging Kasab! Not only that the union government and Maharshtra government have ignored many well-established procedures, conventions as well as traditions of culturally ancient civilisation of Hindustan in last thousand years. At least , we must have remembered the non-violence peaceful solution of ills from Gautama Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

Despite so many voices of people against death penalty  , why we are keeping the provision of capital punishment?  In the last 60 years many thoughts have been given on the subject without any fruitful result.More over over half of the world nations including Great Britain, United States of America have abolished death sentences. In Great Britain, where Lord Mountbatten  was killed brutally,  had not awarded death sentence to the culprits! Even In India, right from the very beginning of freedom movement, Mahatma Gandhi remained all -opposed to capital punishment. The first prime minister Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru also had spoken openly against death sentences in India. And lamentably in Gandhi's country Ajmal Kasab was hanged!

 In his  'angush remark'  the former Judge of the Supreme Court and a champion of liberty , Mr V R Krishna Iyer, who is striving hard for  abolishing capital punishment right from 1950s, has said, " It is or  not that Ajmal was Pakistani terrorist, but he was humane being. I have no doubt in my heart  that Gandhi's country should not have killed Ajmal Kasab-he was after all young and belonged to poor family- Pakistan or not, he was a humane being."Justice Iyer has further said, " in my humble view, all humane societies, especially a society that swears by the Indian Constitution-that is deep-rooted in compassion, should abolish judicial executions. Mahatma Gandhi was opposed to it and so was Pundit Nehru."

I must refer here the wonderful and remarkable gesture of the  president of the Congress, Ms Sonia Gandhi, who had written to then President of India K R Narayanan spelling out her views against hanging of her husband's murderers following death penalty to the persons, who killed Rajiv Gandhi brutally, She wrote, " The Supreme Court  had confirmed the death sentences on four persons, who were responsible for the assassination of my beloved husband Rajiv Gandhi--our family does not think that the four held responsible for the  heinous murder of my dear husband must be hanged. My son , Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka or myself do not wish that the four murderers be hanged. In particular we do not wish Nalini , mother of an eight-year-old child, to be hanged. I am aware that how my children miss their father and we do not want another child to loose its parents to get her orphaned..As you are well aware my children Rahul and Priyanka and myself are suffering untold mental agony day in day out due to loss of our beloved  Rajiv. But neither my children nor myself would like the persons, responsible for my husband's tragic end to be hanged-hence I humbly request you to stop their hanging and grant them pardon when they seek your clemency."

Now apart from discussing constitutional impropriety in hanging Kasab, I musr mention here the views of Justice Iyer in abolishing death sentence in India .When he was minister in Kerala in 1950s, Iyer had tried to minimise the death sentences with the consultations of then Governor of Keral. And such move had clicked in early 1950s for carrying a campaign to abolish death sentences in India.

About constitutional impropriety, it is not out of place to mention here that there are many administrative lapses in hanging Kasab in secret and hurried manner. The President has also erred in not making public his decision to reject the mercy petition of Ajamal! If the President would have made public his decision, the country could have known the reasons behind the rejection of Kasab's mercy petition. In executing Kasab, all legal formalities have not been adopted  by the administration. Questions are: Why Ajamal  was not informed about his constitutional rights to seek judicial review of his petition's  rejection by  Pranab Mukherjee?,Second- The judiciary has all power to review the ground on his petition has been rejected by the President!, Third;- Article 21 of the Constitution guarantee the right to life  equally applicable to the Indian as well as foreign nationals,; Furth:- Article 19 says that a person cannot be deprived of life or personal liberty except according to established procedures! Fifth:- The Constitution empowers the citizens the right of judicial review of even President's decision to examine reasons of rejection of mercy plea by the President.

Not only that, the Supreme Court has had ruled in Kehar Singh vs Union of India case landmark judgement (AIR 1989SC-653) that citizens cannot be deprived of any eventualities like judicial review of rejection of mercy plea by the President like  in Ajmal Case. The bench headed by then Chief Justice of India R S Pathak,, had observed and gave written directive that the Constitution of India had every check and balance while finally implementing the judgements of any case!

Taking into account such lapses, hanging of Ajmal has left behind much and much as well as more and more  things of questioning about the propriety of his hanging in secret and hush-hush manner.Mudabhushi Sridhar, professor and Coordinator, Centre for Media Law\and Public Policy, NALSAR, University of Law, Hyderabad, while questioning the hanging of Ajmal before exhaustion of all the formalities, has said, "Darkness and secrecy not only breed disease and corruption but also hide them"'

No comments:

Post a Comment