Mercy petitions should be disposed within a year: Top lawyer



Hyderabad: Strongly defending the provision of capital punishment, senior advocate K T S Tulsi on Monday termed the Government's attitude in dealing with mercy petitions as "reprehensible" and sought their early disposal.

"We take almost a decade, and in some cases more than a decade, to deal with the mercy petitions. This is most cruel and inhuman. You cannot keep a person on the death row like this as the person just loses his mind and you can't execute an insane person," he said.

"There are persons whose mercy petitions are pending for more than 10 years. This, as a matter of state policy, is most reprehensible. Mercy petitions must be decided one way or the other within a year," he said.

Participating in a session on 'Death Penalty' at the ongoing 17th Commonwealth Law Conference here, the former Additional Solicitor General argued in support of awarding capital punishment.

"There are situations in which death sentence is the only just remedy. We can't be such sentimentalist so as to endanger the life of society. These (campaign for abolition of death penalty) are arguments of soft hearts. I'm only asking for justice and there are cases in which death sentences are the only just punishment," the Supreme Court counsel said.

"Terrorists go on the rampage, killing people. What kind of punishment will meet the ends of justice in a case like that?" he sought to know.

"If we abolish death sentence and if there was a plane hijacking, the terrorists will demand the release of Ajmal Kasab (a LeT operative facing death sentence in 26/11 attacks)," Tulsi said.

PTI