SC must not give contradictory verdicts
This refers to the Supreme Court decision to hear a review-petition by a murderer awarded life-sentence on the plea that another accused in the same case with the same charge-sheet was sentenced to just ten-year imprisonment, but by a different bench of the apex court. This episode reminds one of the apex court verdict just three days prior to infamous Delhi gang-rape of December 16, 2012—the court had held that rape-cum-murder after consuming liquor was not rarest of rare because it was a crime committed in drunken state of mind. It is common knowledge that for such a convict, drinking before rape is a part of such composite crime. Evidently, the said verdict would never have been endorsed by many other judges of the Supreme Court. To end such contradictory verdicts, a tradition may be inculcated at the court for discussion amongst all the judges in cases of crimes attracting death or life sentence before delivery of the verdict. It will also enable deciding judges to refer to earlier verdicts on similar crimes. Supreme Court judges should unanimously pass a resolution for not admitting any review-petition after rejection of mercy-petition by the president.
— SC Agrawal, Delhi
Land of the unfree?
India’s “cultural landscape” cannot have become worse than now. Pahlaj Nihalani-led CBFC refused to give clearance to a documentary on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen entitled The Argumentative Indian” citing its objection to the use of words like ‘cow’, ‘Gujarat’, ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Hindu Rashtra’ until they are either expunged or beeped out. It is a sad day when an intellectual of Prof Sen’s stature cannot speak his mind.
— G David Milton, Maruthancode