Sarabjit’s death probe: Judicial commission visits jail, interviews prisoners


PTI Jun 9, 2013,

LAHORE: A judicial commission of the Lahore high court visited Sarabjit Singh’s cell in Kot Lakhpat Jail and interviewed prisoners as part of its probe into the brutal murder of the Indian death row convict.

Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, the head of the commission, collected the complete record of Sarabjit from prison officials.

Registrar Bushra Zaman of the high court told reporters that the commission had interviewed some prisoners about the incident and gathered complete records of the case.

The commission had already issued notices to Sarabjit’s family through the foreign ministry to record their statements and produce any evidence they had regarding the incident, Zaman said.

Local witnesses have been summoned on June 10 to record their statements.

The commission will unearth the facts at the earliest in view of the importance of the matter, she said.

The commission will also interview the two prisoners arrested for attacking Sarabjit, jail officials and witnesses before finalising its report.

Five to six prisoners had brutally assaulted Sarabjit in a well-coordinated attack on April 26.

After being comatose for nearly a week, Singh died at Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on May 2.

Police registered a murder case against two death row prisoners Amer Aftab and Mudassar for allegedly assaulting Sarabjit.

Both men told police that they wanted to kill Sarabjit as he was involved in killing Pakistanis in bomb blasts.

 

Die a thousand deaths—the endless wait of UP’s death row inmates #Deathpenalty


NIRALA TRIPATHI
Karan Singh, Babloo, Rakesh Kumar, Barabanki Jail
In jail for 9 years now for murder of a cousin’s wife. Hoping HC will overturn death verdict.
No Noose Ends Here
Die a thousand deaths—the endless wait of UP’s death row inmates for the HC to decide their fate
SHARAT PRADHAN, The Outlook

Devendra Nath Rai was a young army soldier, barely 34, when he was charged and court-martialled for the murder of a superior, convicted and given a death sentence. He’s now 56. He has spent the past 22 years in the historic Naini Central Jail in Allahabad, once the British Raj’s favourite dumping ground for freedom fighters, waiting for his own hanging. Deven­dra’s sentence is, literally, hanging—because the mandatory confirmation by the Allah­abad High Court is still awaited. And no one knows how many more years he will have to spend in this purgat­ory-like state. The provisions of Section 366 of the CrPC clearly spell out that “when the court of session passes a death sentence, the proceedings shall be submitted to the high court, and the sentence shall not be executed unless it is confirmed  by the high court”. The suspense is killing, because even in this mandatory function, the HC is empowered to not just confirm or commute the sentence but even to acquit the convict.

Expectedly enough, Devendra’s is not the only case of its type. As many as 99 death sentence convicts are languishing in different jails of Uttar Pradesh—and they have been inside for varying periods, from one year to 22 years. They are all awaiting their turn before the Allahabad HC, simply to know whether they will meet their end in the gallows or be allowed to live, even if it is within the four walls of a prison. What makes matters worse is these inmates are not entitled to bail or par­ole “during the pendency of confirmation of sentence” by the court.

Brooding over these uncertainties for over two decades, it seems, has taken a toll on the mind of the former lance naik of the Signals Corps. Jail authorities admit to having referred him to a psychiatrist for some time. But despite his incoherent talk, he remains consistent on one issue: “I did not kill anyone; I was implicated by my bosses, one of whom actually gunned down the Company havildar major and another soldier for which I am in jail,” Devendra toldOutlook outside his barracks at Naini jail.


Photograph by Nirala Tripathi

Devendra Nath, Naini Jail
22 years in jail, got death for murder of a superior in the army

Back home in Amethi village under Gambhirpur police circle of Azamgarh district, about 175 km away, Devendra’s wife Mithilesh is equally disillusioned. For what good it’s done, she’s had a routine for the past many years. Every morning she rises, goes out and bows her head to pray before the Lord Shiva statue carefully installed under an ancient peepal tree trunk just at the threshold of her ramshackle home.

These inmates are not allowed parole or bail “during the pendency of confirmation of sentence by the HC”.

It hasn’t helped Devendra’s cause much though. “I am barely able to meet him once a year because it costs a lot of money, nearly a thousand rupees which is more than what I can save over a year,” says an anguished Mithilesh. In the intervening years, she has managed to get two daughters married off though, thanks “to our relatives and people in the neighbourhood”. A third daughter lives with her grandparents in Mumbai where she is pursuing her graduation after which “she hopes to get a job so she is able to fight her father’s court battle”. Sadly, the father could not attend the two weddings because, again, he is not entit­led to parole until the HC comes to a decision. (Devendra coul­dn’t even recall when he had last seen his daughters.)

An assertive high court recently orde­red action against lax bureaucrats and cops sleeping over judicial directives; this  has lent Mithilesh some hope. “I have heard the court has taken serious note of the delays, so I am hoping my husband’s case too would get expedi­ted…I have waited a full lifetime just to know whether I am going to become a widow or not,” Mithilesh says, her eyes welling with tears. “I still haven’t given up hope that the court will commute his sentence to life imprisonment.”

However, even if Mithilesh’s wishful thinking were to come true, it’s not as if Devendra will be set free. The law is usually clear about offsetting the time spent as undertrial against the sentence. But there’s a catch-22 here too. As leading criminal lawyer I.B. Singh points out, “That rule won’t apply as Dev­endra’s punishment hasn’t been con­firmed by the high court. The poor chap’s  life-term (if at all) will come into effect only from the date of confirmation by the HC. Which means all these years he spent behind bars become meaningless.”


Photograph by Nirala Tripathi

Sukh Lal, Naini Jail
In jail since ’01, killed  the three sons of his father’s murderer 12 years after the event

I.B. Singh, who had earlier fought to get reprieve for 42 women convicts and und­­ertrials languishing in Lucknow jail for over two decades, is appalled with the rights violation involved. “It’s time the judiciary as a whole rises to save people from such avoidable physical harassment and mental agony; after all letting matters relating to their life and death hang fire for years is making the poor convicts die a thousand deaths before they meet their actual end,” he feels.

Cases like Devendra’s are spread across 27 jails of the state. One such comes from another historic penal institution, the 153-year-old Barabanki jail, where three mothers are anxiously waiting for their respective sons, convicted of the murder of a cousin’s wife. Police records say they are guilty of “pre-meditated, cold-bloo­ded murder”, believed to be over an old family property dispute, but the mothers insist they are innocent. The accused, Karan Singh, Babloo and Rakesh Kumar claim they were “working in Lucknow when the murder took place but because of the old land dispute between our families we were falsely implicated”.

The murder took place in Ladai ka Purwa village under Loni Katra police circle of Barabanki district on January 12, ’04. The conviction came seven years later. And while the ratification of their death sentence was awaited, they moved an appeal before the HC, which reserved its verdict sometime in February last. The mothers are hoping for a possible reprieve in the appeal. “The witnesses have disclosed in the HC how they were compelled to give tutored statements against our sons,” they told Outlook.

Incidentally, all three mothers are widows who have mortgaged parts of their small one bigha of land to pay the lawyer’s fees. “The lawyer is confident about the merit in our case,” says Sarju Devi, one of the mothers.

Now, unlike Devendra and the others who claim innocence, there are also peo­ple like Sukh Lal, 43, on death row, who has no qualms about admitting his crime. “Yes, I killed three of his sons with my licensed gun…they had to pay for my father’s murder. Their father had killed him in front of my eyes; I was a kid at the time, all I could do was watch and wait patiently for 12 years,” he says.

While he has no regrets about the act, what bothers him is the fate of his daughter, now 15. “After 13 years in jail and still waiting for a confirmation of my sente­nce, I do feel I could have pardoned them; my daughter is growing up and I am stuck in here,” he says resignedly.


By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

 

Taiwan compensates trio after 11 years on death row


Taiwan will pay a total of Tw$15 million compensation to three men who spent more than 11 years on death row before their acquittal in one of the island’s most controversial murder trials, a court said Wednesday.

Su Chien-ho (C), Chuang Lin-hsun (2R) and Liu Bin-lang (2L) outside a court room in Taipei on November 12, 2010 after they were acquitted in the murder of a couple in 1991. (AFP/PATRICK LIN)

TAIPEI: Taiwan will pay a total of Tw$15 million compensation to three men who spent more than 11 years on death row before their acquittal in one of the island’s most controversial murder trials, a court said Wednesday.

Su Chien-ho, Liu Bin-lang and Chuang Lin-hsun will each receive about Tw$5 million for wrongful imprisonment, the High Court said.

The trio, who said they were tortured into making confessions, were first sentenced to death 21 years ago for the murder of a couple in Taipei.

Their legal plight began after a soldier who confessed in 1991 to killing the couple claimed that they were his accomplices. The soldier was executed the following year after a trial by a military tribunal.

They had since faced a series of trials and retrials that saw their death sentences being lifted and then reimposed until the High Court made a final ruling in their favour last year.

Taiwan’s human rights groups have seized on the case to call on the government to abolish capital punishment.

Like many Asian countries, Taiwan maintains the death penalty, reserving it for serious crimes including aggravated murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Last year, Taiwan executed six death row inmates, the largest number to be put to death in one day in recent years.

– AFP/gn

 

The Sons of Men – #delhigangrape #vaw #mustread


December 23, 2012
MUMBAI
Paromita Vohra, Mid-Day
Paromita VohraI wonder if all those who are demanding capital punishment for rape, will stop evading their taxes if tax evasion is made punishable by death. Demanding capital punishment, especially in the case of a crime which is tied to the very basis of the social structure — patriarchy and economic disparity — is just a way to absolve yourself of any responsibility in changing things while looking like you care.

Gendered violence — rape and domestic abuse — is underreported for a reason. Masculine violence is both glorified and institutionalised — and consequently, violence against women is hardly treated as crime, despite legislation. That our law itself distinguishes between eve teasing and sexual harassment makes the daily molestation of women sort-of excusable, instead of addressing a continuum where masculinity means asserting power by denigrating or oppressing others. Gendered violence comes into focus only when this violence takes the shape of a recognisable crime — death, or near-death, otherwise called murder.


Illustration/ Amit Bandre

Demanding capital punishment is to recognise the murder, but not acknowledge the nature of gendered violence. Telling other people what to do about a problem, establishes that you are not part of the problem, when, in fact, you are.
Thing is — I don’t want the Thane police chief to tell me to avoid night travel and carry red chilli powder (as if we didn’t know it’s our responsibility). I want to know what he’s thinking of doing to sensitise his department to make sense of a changing world and equip them to do their job well, in it.

I don’t want Salman Khan to say, “If not death they should be sentenced for life so they learn a lesson.” I want to hear him acknowledge the deep-rooted misogyny of his films and say that he will think of how his persona can be dabang in a way that does not involve objectifying women as much. I want to know how he’s going to set a good example to the millions of boys who look up to him. Deal, Salman bhai?

I don’t want successful indie filmmakers to shrug off the sexism and violence that their films glorify in the service of a clichéd cool. I want them to think about how their work practices and the poetic violence of their films stands for this aggressive masculine culture and see them do things differently, meaning, really, fundamentally, differently, as men.

I don’t want to hear my laddish friends dismiss the misogyny in Honey Singh’s lyrics because the music and rhythms and the local cultural references are so invigorating. I want Honey Singh to make fantastic songs about male angst and experience that do not involve asking a woman, “das de mainun ki hai rate.” Sure, sex is tangled up in thrilling threads of power play, but I’m sure men can imagine ways of expressing this that don’t involve crushing and objectifying women, sex and themselves.

And stop telling mothers to bring their sons up better. Tell fathers to set a good example. To explore ways of being men which don’t require asserting power over others as a fundamental affirmation. Teach them to find new ways of loving and being strong, instead of making them ashamed of sex or holding themselves up to punishing standards of what it means to be a successful man.

Paromita Vohra is an award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker, writer and curator working with fiction and non-fiction. Reach her at http://www.parodevi.com.

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper. 

#India has 477 people on death row- shocker ? #deathpenalty


Rope
Dec13, BBC
India allows the death penalty for the ‘rarest of rare’ crimes

There are 477 convicts on death row in India, the government says.

The information was revealed in the Rajya Sabha [the upper house of the parliament] in response to a question on the number of convicts on death row in Indian jails.

Indian courts hand out capital punishment in the “rarest of rare” cases, but it is rarely carried out.

Last month, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was hanged.

The Pakistani national was executed in the Yerawada prison in Pune on 21 November after his plea for mercy to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was rejected.

He became the second person to be executed since 1995 through death by hanging. A man convicted of raping and killing a schoolgirl was hanged in the eastern city of Calcutta in 2004.

According to the latest data revealed by the Indian government on Wednesday, with 174 people on death row, the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh has the maximum number of prisoners awaiting death sentence.

The southern state of Karnataka with 61 convicts awaiting hanging is the second on the list.

At number three is the western state of Maharashtra with 50 convicts while Bihar is at the fourth place with 37 awaiting their death sentences.

Petition against the Death Penalty- Pl sign and share widely


39 nations have already abolished the death penalty. In December 2012, the United Nations‘ General Assembly will vote on a resolution calling for a worldwide halt to its use.

We, the undersigned, in recognition of the five million people who signed the moratorium petition that was handed to the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2007, promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio in collaboration with Amnesty International and other organizations all over the world, renew the call for a worldwide moratorium on sentences and executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty worldwide in the belief that this penalty is inhumane:

* Whatever the method of execution, there is no humane way to kill
* Whatever the country, death row is inhumane
* Whatever the length, awaiting death dehumanizes people sentenced to death

We welcome the strong progress already made towards a global end to capital punishment and acknowledge that 139 nations have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

For the 4th vote of the United Nations General Assembly on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, to be held in December 2012, we, the undersigned, call on all countries to support the resolution and all those which retain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on its use, with a view to abolishing this inhumane practice altogether!

 

Please sign online petition here

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,233 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,762,935 hits

Archives

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
%d bloggers like this: