Memorandum sent to President urging clemency
PALAKKAD: Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, former Supreme Court Judge, in a statement here on Monday, has opposed the death sentence awarded to Mohammad Afzal in the Parliament attack case.
Mr. Krishna Iyer said death sentence was morally banned in the country of the Mahatma. In many countries, capital punishment was not imposed. Even the United Nations opposed death sentence.
He said he opposed death sentence in his many judgments in the Supreme Court. "Death sentence is a challenge to human rights," he said.
In a memorandum to the President, a number of intellectuals, writers, economists, legal practitioners and others had pleaded Mohammad Afzal be spared from the gallows.
They said, "The deterrence of death sentence as an effective tool to deflect crime is being debated all over the world. This issue is also being debated among the vast section of people of Kerala."
The ethics of modern jurisprudence rest on the principle that an innocent shall not be condemned even if thousands of criminals managed to escape punishment. The case of Afzal deserved serious attention in this background, they said.
The memorandum urged the President to use the Constitutional power of clemency bestowed upon him under Article 72 and annul the death sentence.
Writers M.K. Sanu, Sara Joseph, K.G. Sankara Pillai, K.K. Kochu, K.P. Sethunath; economist K. Sivanandan; People's Union for Civil Liberties chairman P.A. Pauran; "Porattam" general convenor M.N. Raunni; advocates A.X. Varghese, K.S. Madhusoodanan, V.N. Achuthakurup and Manjeri Sundar Raj and others are the signatories to the memorandum.