May 3, 2013.
Statement of Dr. Subramanian Swamy,
President of the Janata Party.
I demand the immediate resignation of Mr. P. Chidambaram from the Cabinet for his reckless disregard and gross illegality tantamount to a serious breach of human rights of an Indian citizen who was on death row following an order of capital punishment.
M.N.Das, a death row convict, had filed a mercy petition which was forwarded it to the then President Dr. Abdul Kalam by the Home Minisry recommending for rejection. Dr. Kalam had overruled the recommendaton of the Home Ministry. Dr. Kalam directed the Home Ministry to commute the death sentence of Mr. Das.
The Home Ministry failed to act on the direction of the President which in itself is a gross breach of the constitutional obligation on the Home Minister who despite the file being put up but he failed to act. Thereafter in 2010 Mr. Chidambaram as Home Minister submitted without any reference to the previous Presidential Order, a fresh recommendation rejecting the mercy petition of Mr. Das to the new President Ms Pratibha Patil who upheld the recommendation and directed that Mr. Das be sent to the gallows immediately.
Thanks to the alert Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi, this herrenduous fraud on the Constitution was set right. The Bench directed the death sentence of Mr. Das be commuted to life sentence on humanitarian grounds. Mr. Chidambaram has now no excuse whatsoever for the reckless disregard of the Constitution and the canons of human rights as well flouting of the oath of office he had taken in the name of God upon becoming the Minister. Hence he must resign immediately failing which the President must direct his sacking.
( SUBRAMANAN SWAMY )
GOVT HID PREZ KALAM’S OPINION TO DENY MERCY
Friday, 03 May 2013 | Abraham Thomas | New Delhi
The UPA Government had suppressed the then President APJ Abdul Kalam’s note that recommended the commutation of the death penalty of double murder convict MN Das, which led to his successor Pratibha Patil rejecting Das’ mercy petition.
This shocking fact was spotted by the Supreme Court, which said in its judgment commuting Das’ death sentence to life that Patil was kept in the dark about the view expressed by her predecessor and thus deprived of an opportunity to objectively consider the entire matter.
Patil had rejected the mercy petition of Das on May 8, 2011 in line with the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) then headed by P Chidambaram. But Patil’s predecessor APJ Abdul Kalam on September 30, 2005 had already disposed of the mercy petition of Das in
Kalam’s note said that “the conduct of the accused (Das) does not show trace of pre-meditated murder.” He asked the Centre to consider commuting the death sentence on the ground that “the crime can well be attributed to a gross lack of mental equanimity on his (Das) part.”
The Bench of Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya, after going through the entire communication between the MHA and the President Secretariat, was “intrigued” to find that MHA’s summary note of October 18, 2010 forwarded to President Patil was totally silent about the September 30, 2005 order and corresponding note by Kalam. “Why this was done has not been explained by the respondents (MHA),” the Bench noted. There was no material to show that President Kalam’s order was put up before President Patil for review.
The court formed the view that “omission to make a mention of the order passed by her predecessor and note dated September 30, 2005 from the summary prepared for her consideration leads to an inference that the President was kept in the dark about the view expressed by her predecessor…” This formed a relevant consideration for the court to state that “the President was not properly advised and assisted in the disposal of the petition filed by the appellant.”
The court said, “In the summary prepared by the Home Ministry for the President’s consideration, which was signed by the Home Minister on October 18, 2010, no reference was made to the order and note dated September 30, 2005 of the then President.”
Das had approached the apex court complaining of the 12-year delay in deciding his mercy petition. In this factual backdrop, the apex court stood convinced that 12-year delay was “sufficient for commutation of the sentence” and accordingly quashed the President’s decision rejecting his mercy plea.
The decision on Das may invite a clamour from similar death row convicts as well. The files made available to the apex court further revealed that along with Das, President Kalam had recommended the Centre to commute the death penalty to five others namely R Govindasamy, Piara Singh, Satnam Singh, Sarabjit Singh and Gurudev Singh.
SC COMMUTES DEATH AFTER DELAY IN MERCY DECISION
Thursday, 02 May 2013 | PNS | New Delhi
Creating a distinction between a terrorist and a criminal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday commuted to life the death sentence of a double murder convict from Assam, Mahendra Nath Das, weeks after the court rejected a similar plea by Khalistan Liberation Force operator Devendar Pal Singh Bhullar.
The cases of Bhullar and Das were somewhat similar as their mercy petitions were rejected by the President after a delay of over eight years and 11 years respectively. Both appealed to the apex court that the inordinate delay in deciding on mercy petitions was inhuman and since a person on death row faced more agony and trauma, they sought commutation of their death sentence to life. Bhullar failed to convince the court.
The same bench of Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya on Wednesday departed from this reasoning and gave life to Das.
The reason for carving out such a distinction was not known since the judgment was not uploaded till late on Wednesday. However, in the Bhullar case the bench expounded the theory that terrorists deserved no mercy. Applying this logic, Das being a murderer possibly earned the mercy of the court as against the terrorist Bhullar.
In its earlier judgment of April 12, the bench had noted: “Such cases (of terrorism) stand on an altogether different plane and cannot be compared with murders committed due
to personal animosity or over property and personal disputes.”
The position of India being a target of terror from both within and outside the country led the bench to take a strong view against terrorists seeking reprieve on ground of delay
The court was also critical of the various organisations and individuals who espoused Bhullar’s cause in the name of defending human rights. The court found it paradoxical that Bhullar sought mercy from it whereas he showed no mercy while planting a bomb in Delhi on September 10, 1993 that claimed nine lives.
Das was accused of decapitating a man while on bail in another murder case. His conviction and death sentence was confirmed by the Gauhati High Court and later by the Supreme Court on May 14, 1999.
He filed mercy petitions before the Assam Governor and the President of India for clemency. While the Governor acted swiftly by dismissing his petition on April 7, 2000 the President dismissed it only on May 8, 2011.
On account of the long delay in execution of his death sentence, Das approached the Gauhati High Court to commute his capital punishment to life term. His request was rejected on January 30, 2012 following which he had approached the apex court.