Political arena in Punjab has suddenly come to lime-light after Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s constitutional review petition was rejected by the President Pratibha Patil. All political parties are trying to win over the popular sentiments by showing there sympathy to Bhullar. With less than a year to go before assembly elections, political parties could not have asked for any better propaganda to distract the voting public from the development issues. As debate over capital punishment soars high, every one who is anyone in politics is joining the chorus to make the most of it.
The Points put forward in favour of Clemency
1)Delay in the execution
3)Capital Punishment-retributive justise
Former Punjab Chief Minister and current chief of Punjab Congress Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday sought clemency for Professor Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar. The Shiromani Akali Dal has also opposed the Center’s decision to execute death punishment awarded to Bhullar. SAD has sought Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in saving the life of death row convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.
While demonstrating one of the worst cases of moral bankruptcy, political parties have proved that they can go to any extent to woo the voting public. The reasons cited by the parties really appear ridiculous. Amrinder Singh, while supporting Bhullar, said that he was against the Capital Punishment as he didn’t see it solving the purpose. Mr Amrinder, if you had problems with capital punishment, why didn’t you raise your concern before. Let me remind you that you were the Chief minister of Punjab when on Aug 14, 2004 Dhananjoy Chatterje was hanged. You perfectly seemed to have no problem with the Capital Punishent then, when you were better equipped to plug this ‘loop-hole’.
The reasons cited by Shiromani Akali Dal is no better . They advocate that since Bhullar has spent more than 9 years in death row, so he be granted mercy. SAD almost forgot that the oldest case, that of Dharam Pal, dates back to March 1999 when the Supreme Court confirmed his death sentence. The same year his mercy petition was received by the Government and forwarded to the President the following year.The convict’s fate has been in uncertainty for 12 long years after he was served the death penalty. Shouldn’t he be excused as well.
This clearly indicates that these political parties are opportunists and are trying to win over the popular sentiments.While unscrupulously persuing politics without principles, these men in power seem to have forgot there duties.They by supporting criminals are becoming partners in crime.Should there be one set of rules for Afjal and another for Bhullar? Anarchy and lawlessness would overpower India, if likes of Afjal Guru and Kasab are given clemency following these arguments.
Article 72 of the constitution doesn’t define any time frame to decide over the clemency. So president is free to take what-so-ever time he/she deems fit to decide upon a cleamency plea. Just because it took president so long to decide over the mercy plea does’t make Bhullar’s blunder any less. He has committed a heinous crime(rarest of rare) and rightly deserves the Capital Punishment. Bhullar was convicted of attacking the former Indian Youth Congress (IYC) chief MS Bitta in New Delhi on 11 September 1993 and former Chandigarh SSP, Sumedh Singh Saini, in 1991. Bitta was not killed, the attempt however resulted in the deaths of 9 others.
Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court in 2001. Davinder Pal Singh Bhuller appealed against the death sentence in December 2001, but the appeal was rejected by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court.A review petition was filed in the Supreme Court in December 2002, questioning the legitimacy of the rejection of Bhuller’s appeal. The review petition was heard by the same three judges, who upheld their original decision
Technically every human has human rights. But persons who accomplish such inhumane activities dont deserve any human treatment. The fact that Bhullar brutally killed dozens of innnocent people makes his clemency on human ground unjustifiable. The very day honurable president approved the death sentence of Bhulllar, mercy plea of Mahendra Nath Das was rejected as well. If Das is hanged and PM intervenes in the Bhullar’s case, it would surely tarnish the image of judiciary. The fact that Das has no political standing should not make him under-privileged before law.
Be sure, once the elections are over, none of these political parties would even take pain to enquire about Bhullar. Capital Punishment is awarded only in rarest of rare cases and it can’t be for no reason that he was slapped with death penalty by the TADA court and was upheld by the supreme court twice and has finally been stamped by the president. So Bhullar was given fair trial and has been rightly convicted. Political Parties have set a bad example by supporting culprits for personal and political gains.
The point that I want to drive home is, that political parties are not consistent in there approach. They don’t have any set ideology and principle. They treat politics as there family heirloom and create controversies that can keep them in news for longer time. We as voting public, need to identify such cheap political practices and uproot those who encourage such stunts. Development should be the only benchmark for choosing governments.The history of Punjab suggests that pro-terrorist party has not been able win the elections. Terrorists are not vote drawing entities in the democratic setup.
KPS Gills statement sums it all-“A Sikh can’t be a terrorist and a terrorist can’t be a sikh”. So parties supporting Bhullar are not only against the spirit of democracy and judiciary, they are against the holy religion they pretend to safeguard.