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Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

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Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

High Court to hear review petitions of Rajiv killers on Tuesday

Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan
The Madras High Court will hear on Tuesday the review petitions of the three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking an interim injunction to stay their execution.


Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan have sought to set aside the August 12 order of the President, rejecting their mercy pleas and commute their death sentences to life on the ground of ‘undue delay’ in disposing of their mercy petitions.

Advocate N. Chandrasekaran made a mention in the court of Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar on Monday morning, seeking an early hearing of the petitions, following which the Judge agreed to hear them on Tuesday.

In three separate petitions, the convicts also sought an interim injunction to stay their executions till disposal of their petitions.

They contended that their mercy pleas were with the President for 11 long years since April 26, 2000 before being rejected. They claimed ‘an unwarranted, illegal and unconstitutional delay is caused by the President and the Union of India in the disposal of the mercy petition.’ “No explanation has been offered either for the delay in forwarding of the mercy petitions by the state government to the President or the delay in disposal by both the authorities,” they contended.

They said they had sent fresh mercy petitions to the President on August 27.

The three convicts referred to the Supreme Court ruling in ’Madhu Mehta versus Union of India case, saying the Court had held that undue delay in execution of the death sentence would entitle the condemned person to approach the court under Art 32 (right to constitutional remedy) of the Constitution.

They contended that the Apex court had held ‘the court is entitled and indeed obliged to consider the question of inordinate delay in the light of all circumstances of a case to decide whether the execution of sentence should be carried out or should be altered into life imprisonment.

‘Besides the Supreme Court had held ‘speedy trial in criminal cases though may not be a fundamental right is implicit in the broad sweep and content of Article 21.” Speedy trial is part of one’s fundamental right to life and liberty. This principle is no less important for the disposal of a mercy petition, they contended.

The mercy petitions were not placed before the council of ministers but only before the home ministry, which rejected them, they claimed and said the President should not have acted on the advice of the home ministry.

They contended that they had submitted letters to the President about the pendency of their mercy petitions.

They said in Javed Ahmad vs State of Maharashtra (1985) an over two year delay in adjudication of the mercy petition was held sufficient to have the death penalty commuted to life.

Source: The Hindu, August 29, 2011

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