The excessive delay in disposing of mercy petitions has received much public attention recently, especially in the case of Afzal Guru. Last week the Supreme Court expressed its concern about this delay, and suggested that a delay in disposal could lead to the death sentence being altered to life imprisonment. In today's Indian Express, I comment on the constitutional concerns that such a delay invites. Hopefully the SC's warning will push the government to act. Though as I note, placing
the decision in someone else’s hands could well be what the government wants.