A delegation representing women activists, lawyers, academics and other concerned citizens in India and abroad met President APJ Abdul Kalam on Thursday and submitted a petition before him to grant clemency to Zahira Sheikh who has been imprisoned on the grounds of contempt of court and perjury.
"The President has said that he will take a decision after going through the petition. Now the matter is under his kind consideration", Indira Jaisingh, lawyer, said after presenting the petition to the President.
Terming the punishment given to Zahira as "disproportionate", Jaisingh said Zahira was a victim of mass crimes and her "hostility" was a result of the unsecured environment.
"We have appealed to the President to either grant clemency or reduce Zahira's sentence," she said, adding it's been almost four months that she has been in jail.
Harsh Mander, social activist from Ahmedabad who also met the President said, "To speak out the truth under such environment was tough. She could not dare to speak out as she was under duress".
Jaisingh complained that if politicians like Madhu Srivastava who had intimidated Zahira, could get away with the punishment and are roaming freely, it was wrong on the part of the apex court to punish Zahira.
Zahira has been sentenced to a year's jail term along with a fine of Rs 50000 for contempt of court and also for three months jail term for perjury.