"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As long as death sentence is in the statute book...

Ajitsingh Harnamsingh Gujral v. State of Maharashtra, CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1969 OF 2009, Date of Judgment 13/09/2011.

Justice Markandeya Katju while delivering the judgment affirming the death sentence said that as long as death sentence remain in the statute book the judiciary would award it in appropriate cases. To do otherwise, would be repeal of death sentence by the judiciary, which is not its domain.

The last part of the judgment is amusing and reminds one of the master stroke of Truepenny (C.J) in the Speluncean Explorers case. Paragraph 103 of the judgment says the following

"Before parting with this case, we would like to mention that we are not dealing with mercy petitions under Article 72 and 161of the Constitution, but are confining ourselves to the question of imposing death penalty on the judicial side."

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