Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Centre to SC: No further mercy plea after President’s rejection

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that after a mercy petition by a death row convict is rejected by the President, it cannot be moved afresh before the governor of a state unless there were entirely new grounds.

Telling this to the Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that unless this was halted at some point, the President’s decision to reject a mercy petition would not attain finality.

Describing the law as “unsound”, the Solicitor General told the court that a death row convict may move the governor on fresh grounds but it will not be backed by law.

The Solicitor General made the submission after he was asked whether a death row convict could seek mercy from the governor for the second time.

The question raised by the bench assumes significance in the wake of a fresh mercy petition filed by 1993 Mumbai bomb blast death row convict Yakub Memon before the Maharashtra governor after his curative petition was rejected by the apex court on Tuesday.

Finding some ambiguity in the procedure, the court asked the Solicitor General if it should lay guidelines in this regard or was there a procedure formulated by the home ministry.

The Solicitor General said that after the executive actions – the President or governor deciding on a mercy petition – and the apex court deciding the matter and commuting the death sentence, there should be no further question of remission of sentence of the convict.

The bench was hearing a reference by a three-judge bench on the question whether after the commutation of death sentence into life imprisonment, the state government could further grant remission of sentence to release the assassins of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

One of the seven questions framed by the bench of then chief justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N.V. Ramana in their April 25, 2014, judgment was whether after commutation of the death sentence, the government can go further granting them remission and releasing them.

The question was rooted in the conflicting positions taken by the Centre and the Tamil Nadu governments on whether Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins or similarly placed convicts be granted remission and consequent release.

The Constitution bench was further asked to examine whether there could be a special category wherein after death penalty has been commuted, such a convict is put beyond the applicability of remission of sentence and he would remain behind bars in excess of a life term of 14 years.

(With inputs from IANS)

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.