14th December, 2015 (MAINS)

TODAYs ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM GS-II

Q1. Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse. [12.5marks/2014/GS-4] 150 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Surabhi Gupta

    GS2 question solved by me:
    Q1. Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse.
    My Answer:

    There should be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject mercy petitions because:
    1. The President’s delay in commuting death sentence is considered as denial of justice, as it is universally known that “justice delayed is justice denied”.
    2. Article 72 of the constitution deals with the power of President to commute the death sentence of a convict with no time period within which to decide over the mercy petition.
    3. So even if there is delay over deciding a mercy petition it is not ultra vires to constitution.
    4. But if there is delay, it adds to the suffering of the petitioner with physical stress and trauma which is cruel and thus becomes a question of human right.
    5. The acceptance/rejection of a mercy petition is with the home ministry and the judiciary cannot interfere in it.
    6. This results in delay in taking the decision.
    7. The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is important with regard to specifying time limit for President to accept/reject a mercy petition.
    8. In that case the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of convicts to life in view of the inordinate and unreasonable delay in considering their mercy petition.
    9. If there is no time limit to decide the acceptance/rejection of such mercy petitions then there will be no concrete guidelines and the decision will always be subjective.
    10. So keeping in mind the rights of the convicts and the sufferings arising out of the long delays there should be time limit
    specified for the President to accept/reject such mercy petitions.

    • http://shashidthakur23.blog.com Shashi Thakur

      good answer..

      • Surabhi Gupta

        Thanks.