New Norms Come As Ray of Hope to Mercy Plea Petitioners
- The mercy petition procedure under Articles 161 (by Governors) and 72 (by the President) of Constitution, gives convicted inmates and their family members a new ray of hope, because they can commutate the death sentence into the life imprisonment
- Supreme Court has stated that, the executives will have to step up and employ the court procedures for mercy petition, within a certain period of time.
- According to CJI, there’s actually no time limit set for the Governor/ President to dispose the mercy petition, and the governments must be forced to take it up in procedural manner, so as to retain the confidence of people on the democratic institutions.
- The topmost constitutional bodies should be bound to employ the power of Article 72/161 within the limits of constitutional authority. They should deliberate over the mercy petitions in a prompt manner, and not drag it for years.
- The delay in the hearings of mercy petition by topmost bodies make the process of execution of death verdict unreasonable, unfair, illogical and capricious. It also violates procedural-led process defined under Article 21 of Constitution and one can clearly see dehumanising effect in such cases.
- The long-standing delays in the execution of death verdict, gives rise to the mental suffering and misery by itself. It makes the successive execution of death verdicts barbaric and inhuman.
- Articles 72 & 161
- Article 21
- Humanizing death sentence