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Suggestions for legislation steps against rape crime
The death penalty is awarded only in rarest of rare cases - ultimately to be endorsed by the Supreme Court. Either the system of mercy petitions should be abolished altogether or stricter rules should be framed whereby mercy may only be in exceptional cases - that too with compulsory consent of victims and/or their family members with rape included as a crime punishable for death penalty.

MERCY PETITIONS must be decided compulsorily within three months, and hanging done within one week of rejection of mercy petitions. Abnormally high delay in deciding mercy petitions and also subsequent execution in case of rejection of mercy petitions, creates unnecessary provocation including even state assemblies passing resolutions for pardon on religious and regional backgrounds.

Even the Division Bench of the Supreme Court has expressed concern on such a policy of indecision, which is even torturous for convicted ones living in a life of uncertainty apart from creating emotions - diluting fear against committing the crime. Delay in deciding mercy petitions can cause repeat of incidents like the hijack of the IC-814 flight for release of death-sentenced convicts. 

All earlier court cases of rapes should be probed because in many cases like that of the Noida gang-rape case, the accused are roaming free after managing bail, which is quite easy in our corrupt judicial and police system. Probe will expose nexus of police, public prosecutors and judicial system having granted bail in such heinous crimes.

Bails to crimes attracting death sentence (later including for rapes also after due legislation) should be reported to Supreme Court on daily basis and put on a centralized website to prevent easy bail by bribing and/or influencing our deeply-polluted corrupt system at all levels. Parole for convicts having been given life and death should not be allowed - except in most exceptional circumstances like death in a family - that too only in police-custody. 

Former President Pratibha Patil in a TV interview to CNN IBN blamed Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for recommending accepting mercy petitions in 35 cases including two cases of rapist murderers during her regime as President of India. She also said that President of India was duty bound to accept MHA recommendations on mercy petitions. Pardoned cases also included when mercy petitions earlier been recommended by MHA to be rejected - were re-sent by the President’s Secretariat to MHA for review. Clarification should be made if such a review was done at the request of the President’s Secretariat or was it MHA, which on its own, called back files of mercy petitions for a review.

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pratibha patil
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