Peoples Union for Democratic Rights
5, Miranda House Teachers’ Flats, Chhatra Marg, Delhi University, Delhi 110007
The President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
Fax: 23017290, 23017824
Sub: Mercy Petition for Commutation of Death Penalty –
Imminent Execution on 11 September 2006
The execution of a youth, Sanjay, is fixed for September 11, 2006 after the Additional District Session Judge A K Singh issued the death warrant. Sanjay is presently lodged at the Agra Jail. The death sentence was pronounced by Fast Track Judge on September 21, 2004 for the unpardonable crime of rape and murder of a minor. The High Court at Allahabad confirmed his death sentence vide judgement and order dated 26/07/2005. A Special leave petition in the matter was dismissed summarily by the Supreme Court on 3 July 2006. PUDR is not clear whether he has been able to send a mercy petition on his own behalf.
The crime is indeed heinous and deserving of punishment. However, no one is born a criminal. Society and the home environment does have a role to play in the shaping of the personality. This often combines with economic crisis, unemployment and consequent frustrations. These are of course no excuses for violent crimes such as this. However, capital punishment and the taking of a human life are not the answer. The ends of justice would be served by commutation to life imprisonment.
The adage of “hate the sin and not the sinner” is one which must inform the exercise of the power reposed in you to commute death into life. There is no individual who is beyond reform. History is replete with instances of individuals who reformed and went along to perform useful service to society.
The damocles sword of death has been hanging on the head of Sanjay for the past two years. The torture and agony of being on death row is unimaginable and a severe punishment in itself. Sanjay is a young man who has erred and committed a heinous crime; however, there is possibility of reform.
Sir, compassion is a constitutional virtue and we beseech you as the constitutional head to exercise the sovereign power reposed in you by the people of India to commute the death imposed on Sanjay to life imprisonment, and alternatively to stay the execution pending a complete review of this mercy petition, more so as the matter was not even heard, but dismissed summarily by the Supreme Court.