ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Afzal Guru's Case

The Undiscussed Aspect

The Supreme Court is often regarded as infallible. But judges are human and the Court's verdicts should not be immune to criticism, particularly when they pertain to the death penalty. The apex court's verdict which sentenced Afzal Guru to death may not stand ground if examined in the light of the treatment of evidence in a later case.

In February this year, there was outrage when some students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University organised a protest to mark three years of the hanging of Afzal Guru—sentenced in the Parliament attack case (State (NCT of Delhi) v Navjot Sandhu 2005). The students were branded “anti-national” and denounced for defaming the Supreme Court. “Anti-India” slogans are definitely uncalled for, and observing Republic Day as “Black Day” and celebrating Gandhi’s assassination (Hindu 2016a and 2016b) should be criticised.

Having said that, there is nothing wrong in criticising the Supreme Court. There are several judgments that need to be criticised. One such disappointing verdict of the Court was in the ADM Jabalpur case, AIR 1976, SC 1207, where it ruled that in Emergency

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