The Supreme Court’s ruling declaring inordinate delay in deciding mercy plea a ground for commutation of death penalty is a welcome step.
Many death row convicts have been languishing in jails for years pending decisions on their mercy pleas. This verdict will put an end to the mental agony and trauma of such convicts and their family members.
Article 21 of the Constitution says, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
The verdict emphasises that even a death-row prisoner enjoys this right. The guidelines laid down by the SC for deciding mercy pleas and execution of death convicts would go a long way in correcting the malaise afflicting the decision making process in such cases.