There is a some difference between upholding law and serving justice. The recent hanging of Yakub Memon has re-ignited the debate on death penalty. While it is perfectly legal to have hung him to death, a lot of people questioned whether hanging him served justice.
An interesting point to note here is a comment made by Late APJ Abdul Kalam where he said that most death penalties had a strong Economic and social bias.
Here is a list of 7 criminals who were executed by our country and decide for yourselves if there was a bias or they truly deserved it.
1. Yakub Memon – Conspirator of 1993 Bombay bombings
Date Hung: 30th July, 2015
Brother of Tiger Memon, he laundered money, was part of the Hawala scheme and probably managed all the logistics and was hung after serving 22 years in jail.
2. Mohammad Afzal Guru- Conspirator of 2001 Parliament Attack
Date Hung: 9th February, 2013
He provided hideout and logistics to the terrorists in New Delhi which enabled them to carry out the attack
3. Ajmal Kasab- Attacker, 26/11 Taj Attack
Date Hung: 21st November, 2012
He was part of the team of terrorists who entered Mumbai and carried out the 26/11 attack at Taj
4. Dhananjoy Chatterjee- Murderer and Rapist
Date Hung: 14th August 2004
He raped and murdered a 14 year old girl.
5. Surja Ram- Convicted for murder of Brother, Sister-in-law, their children and Aunt.
Date Hung: 7th April,1997
In 2012, a panel of 14 supreme court judges admitted that it was wrong to have hung him as they only considered his crime and not his socio-economic conditions. In a letter to the president, the judges admitted that the court had displayed an ‘Ignorance of Law’.
6. Ravji- Murder of 5 persons
Date Hung: 4th May, 1996
The same panel of judges agreed that they didn’t consider the criminal and only punished according to the crime. They said that the judgment was flawed and an erroneous decision was taken.
7. Auto Shankar- Murder of 6 persons
Date Hung: 27th April, 1995
He was found guilty of murder of 6 people over the period of two years.
We don’t know if all of them deserved to die or not but, a strong pattern of common socio-economic status does emerge in all these executed criminals.