Venkaiah Naidu suggests rethinking mercy appeals in heinous crimes

NEW DELHI: As parliamentarians expressed anguish for him, President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday he suggested a rethinking of the practice of allowing convicts to enter for mercy appeals.

What happens even after punishment (to the damned). We are all witnesses ... appeal, mercy (petition) ... Can anyone think of having mercy on those people, he said, noting that this process has been followed for years.

We should really think about the change in the legal system, in our judicial system, he said.

Naidu spoke after parliamentarians expressed outrage over the rising incidents of crimes against women. He said that the development of laws will not be enough and that everyone will have to come together to address the problem.

While several parliamentarians made a case to establish more fast-track courts to deal with sexual assault cases, Naidu said such courts are a solution, but after that there is an appeal process, next appeal and next appeal.

Naidu said that crime against women is a social disease and that there is some kind of loophole in the systems, both legal and police.

This type of violation of the dignity of women cannot continue without being questioned. It should be cut from the roots, he said, adding that it was too late.

The president also suggested that photographs of people convicted of crimes against women should be published so that there is a certain social stigma and fear in them.

What is required is not a new law. What is required is a political will, administrative skill and then a change of mentality and then go to kill social evil, he said.

The charred body of the 25-year-old woman, who worked as an assistant veterinarian at a state hospital, was found under a sewer at Shadnagar in Hyderabad on November 28, a day after her disappearance.

Four men, all truck workers, aged 20 to 24, were arrested on November 29 on charges of rape and murder of women and were sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday.

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