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Fair judgment or popular tide?

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 17:20 IST
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Death sentence for Santosh Singh: is it really fair?

Media has been hailed in the past few days for playing a vital role in getting Santosh Singh the death sentence. A verdict, which was based purely on circumstantial evidence and at the out-set looks more like a sentence given to please the popular sentiment. I don't deny for a second that he does deserve to be punished for killing Mattoo but ask yourself this question, does this crime really fall under the rarest of rare criminal incidents?

Ask yourself again does Singh really deserve to die like this?

Just a few days ago, the same bench of judges, who have given Santosh the death sentence, gave life imprisonment to a man who raped his three-year-old daughter, who eventually died because of the injuries inflicted on her.

It cringes me to even think why a man would even think of committing a crime so heinous in nature and that too without any provocation. The judges felt that though whatever he did was not right, yet he is not a threat to the society and therefore doesn’t deserve to die.

Strange isn’t it that a man who can rape his own three-year-old daughter is not a threat to the society against a man, who barring the Mattoo chapter in his life has been a law-abiding citizen, a practising lawyer and who throughout the trial period has been extremely co-operative to say the least?

I still can’t fathom the double standards being used by the court of law.

As I see it, a one-time criminal on basis of "circumstantial" evidence is getting the death sentence, highest punishment given in any country. While we have countless politicians and terrorists who are let loose and a menace to society.

My heart does go out to the family of the victim but I also feel that Santosh Singh doesn’t deserve the sentence given to him because there is a possibility that if he is given a chance he can prove to be a better person, lawyer, father, human being in spite of what he has done.

But he has been caught in a situation, where the media has tainted him and his background so badly that even if he tries really hard, he may not be able to prove that this was probably the biggest mistake of his life and not something, which came naturally to him.

For all my understanding of the law, I think a person deserves to die only and only if there is concrete evidence and not when there are so many loopholes in a case like Santosh's.

Isn't it ironic that our prime ministers are killed in broad daylight and in public and yet their cases lie pending for years and the people who killed them are still not given capital punishments?

Case in point, Rajiv Gandhi's murder by LTTE.

All this is not to glorify the sentence given to him but to really think long and hard about the turn of events in the last few days. Being a democracy, every citizen has the right to voice his or her own opinion and its incredible how the Indian society has taken it up to themselves to fight for the cause they believe in but this in no way should persuade the judiciary to take decisions.

They are the protectors of the common man and therefore, their judgement should solely be based on what is right and not what may seem like the right thing to do.

Because at the end of the day, each citizen deserves to be treated equally.