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Kasab Will Be 1157th Convict On Death Row If He Gets Death Sentence

If Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab gets the capital punishment, he will be number 1,157 on the list of convicts awaiting the hangman's noose across the country, reports Mumbai tabloid Mid Day.  Should Lashkar terrorist Ajmal
PTI May 03, 2010 15:04 IST
PTI
If Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab gets the capital punishment, he will be number 1,157 on the list of convicts awaiting the hangman's noose across the country, reports Mumbai tabloid Mid Day.
 
Should Lashkar terrorist Ajmal Amir Qasab get the capital punishment , he will be number 1,157 on the list of criminals awaiting execution across the country, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Sources in the bureau say the vast majority of these convicts have not been executed due to the non-availability of hangmen.

Incidentally, the last execution in the country, and the first since 1995, took place in August, 2004, when Dhananjay Chatterjee was hanged for raping and murdering a 14-year-old Kolkata schoolgirl.  

That has not, however, stopped courts from pronouncing the death sentence in which they consider the 'rarest of rare' cases.  

Although the number of people sentenced to death has been decreasing steadily (301 in 2002, 142 in 2003), 112 convicts are awaiting the death sentence in Maharashtra itself. The number is 240 criminals for Uttar Pradesh and 198 for Bihar.

While NCRB officials insist that executions have been stalled due to hangmen not being available, the state's law and judiciary department begs to differ.  

"Though the availability of hangmen is a problem, they can be arranged when the need arises. The reason for the backlog is that a number of such convicts have made mercy pleas to the President or moved the Supreme Court, but have not received responses," said a law and judiciary department source.

According to NCRB data, out of the total 1,156 convicts, 100 have filed a mercy petition and only 40 have moved the Supreme Court. Ironically, a number of such criminals also died awaiting their executions in prison.

The rest, who wake up to an uncertain future everyday, are also slowly inching towards death by natural causes.

When asked for a reaction, Kiran Bedi, former director general of prisons, said, "I am not aware of the precise figures. But I am not surprised by the way the system moves."