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  Global Views
Controversy on Capital Sentence
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Controversy on Capital Sentence

There is a law for capital punishment in many countries but there are some countries that feel this sentence as inhuman. In such countries, the convicts may have committed a very serious crime but they are not given death as a sentence. In many countries, the countries that announce death sentence for dreaded culprits, apply different methods for the death of the guilty. India is also a democratic country where there is provision for death sentence in its constitution. Here the culprit is hanged till death, is a modus operandi to give death sentence.

Surprisingly, in India, whenever the court orders death sentence for the culprit, right during that time, the voices are raised against the death sentence. And when the issue is about the hanging of the man, as Mohammad Afzal who had conspired to blast the Indian Parliament, the situation might take the political turn. In reality, whenever there are preparations to hang a convict or the date of hanging draws near, the voices against his hanging become louder and louder. The people who oppose the death sentence or hanging till death, are not inspired by any particular religion or sect but they talk humanity, call it a cruel act and oppose it.

Last year, in a metropolitan city Kolkata, in India, a youth named Dhananjay Chatterjee was given death sentence. He has committed such a horrible crime that he deserved not less than death sentence. It is not so that in India, the judges, from the session court to Supreme Court does not think about the human aspect. They all are elite, well educated and are capable of understanding any fact. If needed, they can announce life imprisonment at the lower court level instead of death sentence, even to the most dangerous and dreaded culprits. But in India if we have a perusal on the severity of the crime of the criminals who are ascribed with death sentence, we shall come to the conclusion that those criminals deserved nothing less than death sentence.

Undoubtedly, not only in India but in any country, to hang a person till death and to make him suffer till his soul leaves the body and that too in a planned way under a court order, a few persons carry out this order, is really a heart moving. A former member of law commission in India, Mr. M.M. Ghatate says that to hang a person is a barbarous act being done cruelly. So cruelly that you cannot see it from the beginning to the end. At the same time Mr Ghatate opposes the method of hanging the culprit instead of death sentence. He talks of adopting any other method instead of hanging. This opinion shows that opposition is not for death sentence but for a cruel method of hanging till death. In India, a group of common people is there that favours this opinion. The people who favour this thought state to fallow such a method in which a culprit dies easily instead of taking up the barbarous method. The culprit should not feel the severe pain. This punishment should involve the minimum number of persons and it should not look a cruel one. Most of these people suggest if death sentence is a must then the culprit should be given lethal injection instead of hanging.

Another thought is there that gets a voice at such sensitive occasions in Indian society. The people with this thought are against the death sentence to a culprit. They consider it inhuman to make a person die. They say that even the biggest crime should never be followed by the death sentence. This group is against all the methods of death sentence and even they are against the declaration of death sentence by the courts. The people with this thought plead for the removal of death sentence from the code of law. But they are not so much against the life imprisonment.

Both the above opinions often became a subject of controversy in India. Whereas when there is a point on adopting any other method of giving death instead of hanging, the common people in India can also favour it. Certainly the barbarous method such as hanging should be opposed. For death sentence, lethal injection is far better than hanging. Government as well as law experts should think over this method and human rights activists must be taken in confidence for it. But how far is it proper to oppose the court order of death sentence to dreaded culprit.

For example, let us take the crime of Dhananjay chatterjee. As a watchman, it was his duty to safeguard the children of colony, Although even being a watchman, instead of doing his duty to save the innocent child from others, he crossed all the limits of cruelty and barbarous ness, raped the child and killed her. The residents of the apartment were hoping the man to defend them but the man turned out to be a monster. How can a common citizen of India think of a punishment less than the death sentence to such a culprit? But surprisingly, when Dhananjay Chatterjee, a cruel convict was being hanged in a jail of Calcutta, on August 14, 2004, the self styled human activists went on opposing the hanging for all the night by taking the burning candles in their hands. Some persons were giving wrong arguments that if after the hanging of Dhananjay who will be held responsible if as a result of shock, his parents commit suicide? Recently, a few days back, the Supreme Court in India allowed the implement of a death sentence given by the High Court in Maharashtra, a state in India. The Supreme Court verified the death sentence of two real sisters Renuka Kiran Shinde and Seema mohan gavit, announced by the High Court in Maharashtra. These two sisters were accused of killing 13 children, mercilessly with the help of their mother. These sisters were accused of theft & robbing. During this period they used kidnap the children and kill them in a barbarous way. It had become their hobby to kill the innocent children in a cruel way. What else do these women deserve, but only death sentence? Perhaps the self styled human activists, who are not concerned with the incident, are unable to answer it. But the affected families & their relatives can properly answer it. What can be said about the persons who dared to plot to assault the Indian Parliament? Do they deserve pity? The guards who assassinated Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi deserved not less than the death sentence.

In reality, few persons are there in India who oppose death sentence. In the scriptures of many religious, there is provision for the punishment such as death sentence & making a person limbless. Those who oppose death sentence have a soft corner in their heart just for humanity but they want to ignore the gravity & seriousness of the crime. This group ignores the feelings of the affected family. This thinking encourages the culprits & nothing else. It is a matter to think that even when there is a provision for death sentence in the constitution of India, the graph of inhumanity beastly acts & barbarous ness is so high, what will happen if the capital punishment is abolished?



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes in a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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