Popular Front welcomes commutation of death penalty to life term

Popular Front of India Chairman K. M. Shareef welcomed the verdict of the Hon’ble Supreme Court that commuted the death sentences of the three convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to life term. The observation of the three-judge bench headed by Hon’ble Chief Justice P. Sathasivam that the inordinate delay in the disposal of the mercy petition by the President of India entitled them to get relief from death sentence is a strong message for honouring due process of law and norms of natural justice by all subordinate courts. The court has upheld that the fundamental rights of convicted prisoners remain relevant and valid even after the pronouncement of death sentence and rejection of their mercy petition.
K.M. Shareef pointed out that the meaning and message of this historic verdict goes beyond the present case. It will definitely strengthen the demand of the civilized minds to remove the provision of death sentence from the Indian statute books. Abolition of death penalty cannot be viewed as a failure in giving justice to the victims of convicted killers. Not necessarily execution, their imprisonment can serve us a sufficient punishment and a correctional measure. Also the Supreme Court has to put an end to the more cruel and inhuman practice of putting the under-trial prisoners indefinitely behind bars without granting them bail. It is hoped that the Supreme Court which upheld the rights of convicted prisoners will show a more generous approach to the fate of the under trials, the majority whom are innocents.
K. M. Shareef has appreciated all individuals and human rights groups, especially Ms. Arputham Ammal, the mother of Perarivalan for the tireless fights against death penalty.

Public Relations Officer
Popular Front of India

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