Saturday, February 09, 2013

Afzul Guru

" In Afzal Guru’s case, while it is true that the Supreme Court did indeed pronounce him guilty and sentence him to death by hanging, the evidence against him had been far from conclusive. It was the pressure of national outrage over the crime of which he was accused that weighed heavily on the Supreme Court, rather than any overwhelming evidence that proved guilt beyond doubt, when it ordered death for Afzal Guru."

Arun's argument does not fly. It is not the job of Executive Branch to second guess what the highest court in the land decided. If the Supreme Court in India is suspetible to Public pressure, that is the problem of the court and not of Union Government. (Which court in the world is free of that? One has to look at German Constitutional Court to see what acrobats it did to sanction bailout of EU and participation of Germany in that. Of course, history of American Supreme Court is littered with bowing to 'finger in the wind' disposition. Yes, John Roberts stood with ObamaCare; but those are rare occasions. Similarly Indian Supreme Court as well found Union Government at fault when it attempted to slap Billions of Dollars fine on Vedafone, so there are examples all around the map.)

Every Democratic Constitution in the World has a way to overwrite a decision of the highest court of the land - by passing appropriate laws so long as those are compliant to Constitution. Further, Constitution itself can be altered by the Will of People and their mandate too. So if there was a political will to save Afzal Guru, Loksabha could have acted.

Now, none of this is to argue that Indian Supreme Court should not have been more judicious, if indeed there was room to be so. But the point is, just because killing Afzal Guru is politically beneficial to ruling coalition (it is beneficial for sure); it does not mean Government should have re-opened the case somehow or Government should have delayed the execution of the court order forever. Execution of the accused has taken place as per the court order and due process; if that process needs improvements, that is a separate battle than this case.

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