Is a life term in India just 7 years ?
This government and judiciary took a billion Indian down the wrong fork in the road. The court waived its right of American style strict scrutiny while not specifying what its own standards of such scrutiny were. Therefore Article 14, both the equality aspect and social justice aspect were surrendered. Neither of the two aspects can work without data.So, a billion Indians especially the backward who really need social justice took a kick in the teeth.
Still, there was hope if someone killed your father – got caught – and got sentenced to life, justice would be served. This sequence of events itself is rare in India considering the length of time if takes for such a conviction. Now, we find a life term is not just 14 years but a mere 7 in many cases. This will quickly become the new floor, the next time around murderers will expect to be out in 3 to 5 years. Good behaviour could mean a lot of things.
A reality check : You cannot cut slack on the constitution and expect the penal code to be remain sacred. It is all interconnected. Those who are really backward will start to find the Maoist leadership to be of integrity, the SIMI to be more consistent, the Hurriyat to represent freedom from a life of such ad hocism and skullduggery.
Can you blame them ?
What is this country offering them ?
The news is that the Madras High Court cleared the decks for releasing selected life termers who served just 7 years of their term. It is reported there was a dramatic hearing at the Chief Justice Gangulys residence on a Sunday night.
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has rejected a plea from Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking to stay the operation of an order dated 11.09.08 giving en masse remission to 1405 life convicts on September 15, on the day of Anna’s birth centenary.The prisoners may be released subject to the usual conditions relating to execution of bonds, said the first bench comprising Chief Justice of Madras High Court A K Ganguly and Justice S M Ibrahim Kalifulla at a special sitting at the Chief Justice residence on Sunday night.
In the public interest writ petition, Swamy contended that the GO was issued in contravention of Section 433 and 433 A of the Cr PC, which envisaged commutation of life sentence to a term not exceeding 14 years. Therefore the rule is 14 years, but the government has indiscriminately and arbitrarily applied seven years period without any reference to the legal provision.
Source : Express Buzz
The questions that will be asked by the man on the street (some of whom were killed by those released) are
1. Is it now officially OK to release lifers after seven years ?
2. Is this facility available to all states ?
3. What is the meaning of the provisions in the penal code related to the 14 year minimum term ?
4. Can this facility be availed at any time, not just during the centenary celebrations ? So, could the government selectively release a few on a whim ? Of course, saying they will pick roses for a living henceforth and present themselves to probation officers.
5. Does the stance of the two pillars of democracy in this matter – reinforce already marginal Indians like (Muslims, Kashmiris, Assamese, Tribals in Chattisgarh) or does it disgust them ? Will they now work harder to make sure they are not part of the “India 2020 Vision” being shown to them ?
6. Is it practical to rearrest each one of them if the Supreme Court stays this GO ? What is the hurry here ?