Eight sentenced to death is group murder is mass homicide. This is against Mahatma Gandhi and Tamil life-giving culture of Kannagi’s demand. The group murder is gory carnage. The facts are terrible but compassion is just and fundamental under Article 51A of the Constitution. The facts justifying the clemency of the Governor and the President are as follows:
The eight prisoners on whose behalf this plea is made have been convicted and sentenced to death, which was affirmed and reaffirmed by higher courts, live only with the hope that their clemency petition would be accepted and shown mercy. Indeed every saint has a past and every sinner a future.
These languishing eight prisoners awaiting death are:
1. Mr. Surendra Raja alias Santhan
2. Mr. Srikaran alias Murugan
3. Mr. Perarivalan alias Arivu. All the three convicted in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Mr.Rajiv Gandhi.
4. Mr.Mohanarangam alias Mohan
5. Mr. Gopi, who are convicted on the charge of the murder of Master. Sriram in 1993.
All the above prisoners are imprisoned in Vellore Central Jail.
The prisoners who were sentenced to death in 1995 in respect of a murder in the premises of the Kanyakumari district Court namely:
6. Sheik Meeran
8. Mr.Radha Krishnan are imprisoned in the Trichy Central Jail.
The prisoners convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi case are behind the bars for the past 17 years. The prisoners convicted in Master. Sriram murder case have been imprisoned for the past 15 years.
These eight prisoners who are undergoing the trauma of awaiting death have no light to seek than to knock the doors of the first citizen of the Republic in their search of mercy.
The United Nations is against Death Sentence. As Home Minister, I never hanged, always commuted and my Governor agreed. The Chief Minister could play an affirmative role in this issue as had been done by Sri. V.R.Krishna Iyer, the Hon’ble Home Minister in the E.M.S Namboodripad ministry in Kerala, in regard to one Mr.C.A.Balan, who was sentenceded to death and whose clemency petitions were rejected by the Governor and the President, who was released by the earnest effort of the Hon’ble Home Minister G.B. Panth. A Tamil sentenced to death in Coimbatore but kept in Kerala Central Jail I declined to hang and pressured the Central Home Minister G.B. Panth to commute the death penalty. Your name is karuna clemency; your government is kindness. Today, the noblest day for Tamils the world over. Don’t hang in the name of Tamil humanity. I in two notable cases have held that the majority of nations have decided against death penalty. The USA in many States have no death penalty. Life is given by God; Man shall not deprive it. Lord Scarman a great law lord of Britain wrote to me appreciating my contra-death penalty judgments. I, with the Swedish Prime Minister inaugurated in the seventies an International Conference in Stockholm against capital punishment. Let us Indians vote for life. I beseech you great Karunanidhi that on the historic glorious occasion of World Tamil Conference set a supreme example of clemency by commuting Death into Life. The finest hour of Tamil culture of compassion is a fundamental duty to violate and kill eight Tamils is a grievous unconstitutional act. An excellent example to the nation, to the UNO and the cultural universe Karunanidhi the great and sublime Chief Minister of Tamil country at a World Conference saved the lives of eight Tamils. They will have life sentence for their crime but save their lives since our Constitution in Article 51A lays down as a fundamental duty a clemency obligation of compassion to all living creatures. From Macaulay to Mahatma, Tamil Nadu has transformed the Penal Law of clemency as a measure of Social Justice. It overrides all harsh penalty. The crime is terrible. We condemn it. But compassion and clemency is for commutation. We are for Gandhi, not for Godse nor Macaulay. Our tryst with Destiny is to wipe every tear—Not make more people weep. Beloved Karunanidhi, show mercy to the eight Tamil lives. It will be a great gesture on this celebrated occasion of global Tamil marvel to save condemned lives in the name of humanism.
June 22, 2010 V.R. KRISHNA IYER