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The year 2013 could be a world record for death sentences in India
Nowadays, the issue of death sentence is in debate. After the death sentence to Ajmal Aamir Kasab and Afzal Guru, the mercy plea of four associates of Veerapan has been rejected by the President. However, the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of death sentence till Wednesday.

The plea taken by all the four accused is that their mercy plea is pending for the last nine years and has been delayed in hearing, and the punishment of death sentence may be converted into life imprisonment. It has further been desired by their family members that the stay should be granted till such time the hearing on the petition of accused in the murder case of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

The supporters of this plea are of the view that the Tamil Nadu Assembly should pass a resolution for these four accused like that of the accused of Rajiv Gandhi passed in Tamil Nadu Assembly. In fact, after the rejection of mercy plea by the President, there is hardly any channel left and it is but natural that the accused and the members of their family would try to delay the things as much as they can.

In case there is no relief from the Supreme Court to these four accused, then the year 2013 would be record year for giving death sentence to maximum number of persons. There are also possibilities of delaying the implementation of punishment of death sentence with one or the reason at the level of jail department of bureaucracy.

There are also chances of postponing of death sentence when all the channels have been exhausted. This peculiar situation cropped up sometimes because India is among those countries, where the death sentence is still in vogue but India is a country of democratic traditions and death sentence is rarely given. But this practice does not find place with the emotions of the people, how serious criminal may be which includes attacker on Taj in Mumbai and gang-rapists in Delhi.

This is the reason that 139 counties have abolished the death sentence, and it is only in China that the death sentence is awarded in abundance but most of the democratic countries avoid this punishment. In India, the lower courts normally announce death sentence in many cases but as per the statistics, on an average per day, the death sentence is converted into life imprisonment.

This is because of the reason that lower courts knows that the accused will go in for appeal in the higher courts and the higher courts also keep in mind that the accused have less number of chances to be scot-free after their decision. The attitude of Indian judicial system is normally not to save the person from taking his life.

There had been different views of the Presidents on the issue of death sentence but the fact is that the decision of the President is based on the recommendations of the Home Ministry and despite this, those Presidents are against the rejection of mercy plea, they normally try to delay the things on the recommendations of the Home Ministry. The decision of Supreme Court in the case of associates of Veerapan also looks to be based on human grounds.

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