Thursday, May 6, 2010


The latest judgement on Kasab - a pawn in the whole 26/11 massacre and the recent stories in the news got me thinking:

Whether life-term really was a better option? Whether the 150-300 seconds of pain on the rope enough for the brutality leashed out by him on innocent people and too with an unforgettable satisfied idiosyncrasy. Or the lead up to execution is what makes it a more fitting punishment. Have we forgotten his sick sense of humour in courtrooms and the calm with which he was reading Tipu Sultan in his prison before Judgement Day? Come on, they have seen it coming already.

The other side's argument being that would a life term do any good? Why waste useful taxpayers' money on him. Hasn't he done enough damage to life and property? So what should we do in such cases? How do we send out a message?

Why did the trial go so long? What did we achieve? I know for a fact that convicts with much "lesser" charges have been awarded the death penalty. Public execution, in fact. Remember Dhanonjoy Chatterjee. What were we debating about? Why the double standards?

Why is the procedure so lengthy for capital punishments? Local / session / special courts have to reconfirm their verdict with the HC. Then, the convict has a right to appeal to SC. Even then, there is the option of clemency by the President. For which the case is reconstructed by the Home Ministry with the help of the State Government before passing it on to the Secretary of the President. Finally, it reaches the President, who takes his/her own time to review the case and deliver the verdict. The justification behind this is that "we realize this is the only punishment that is irreversible. So we have to be sure that as a civil state, is it justified to take a life." By the time all this happens, a decade or so passes by and the whole purpose of sending out the message is defeated.

Then, I think - sitting here in the comfort of our homes, forming opinions after going through articles in the media, oblivioius of the real picture, are we right in passing judgement? Even with all the corruption, this country is not run by fools.

No, it's not. But, the questions still remain.


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