Amidst concerns expressed by the Supreme Court over the delay of mercy petitions, the Parkash Singh Badal government has urged clemency for Rajoana, the man who assassinated former Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh. Buckling under pressure, President Pratibha Patil stayed the hanging or Rajoana. Such instances have made it increasingly difficult for the judiciary to do its work. We are all aware as to how the government stayed the death sentence of Rajiv Gandhi’s killer and the Parliament attack accused. Whenever the time to execute orders of a death penalty comes closer such an environment is created that the judiciary becomes helpless. Tamil Nadu undoubtedly has set a very wrong precedent regarding this. The state government going beyond its jurisdiction passed a resolution to pardon the killer of Rajiv Gandhi and sent it to the Centre for approval. The state government succeeded in its endeavour as all political parties wanted to cash in on the sentiments of the people. Though the resolution passed by Tamil Nadu held no significance according to the constitution but it emerged successful in raking up the sentiments of the people before the Centre could take any decision regarding it. Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir also followed suite. The narrow political gains were highlighted by Farooq Abdullah, the President of ruling party in Jammu and Kashmir who advocated punishment for the Parliament attacker. He accused the Centre of carrying a similar attitude to that of the states.

There are enough evidences to prove that the government for narrow political gains is hesitating to act on the orders given against the Parliament attacker. This attitude adopted by the Centre further raises our doubts whether the order of death sentence against 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab will ever be executed. It is not a healthy sign that the government in Punjab had to approach the Centre for clemency of Rajoana. Parkash Singh Badal’s statement is true that for the sake of a terrorist the law and order situation should not be compromised with. But on the contrary we have to be careful that antisocial elements do not instigate public sentiments when such instances come to the forefront. This applies to all the states across the country.