Mohammad Afzaland Manu Sharma belong, on surface, to very different classes of prisoners. Afzal has been sentenced to death for conspiring to plan the 2001 attack on Parliament. Sharma is serving a life sentence for the murder of Jessica Lal.
They, however, expose a big flaw in the Indian penal system: The influential can get what they want, even if they are behind bars. Sharma got a parole recommendation from the Delhi government. He requested parole citing his mother’s illness and was granted one after jail authorities certified his “good behaviour”.
The question is: how many murder convicts get parole when their mothers fall ill?
Clearly, not many.
In Afzal’s case, the execution of his death sentence has fallen hostage to assorted political pressures and liberal fashions: Short of the recovery of assault weapons and bullets, a person is held to be innocent.
Such interference in dispensing justice greatly lowers the cost of committing crime and actually fuels lawlessness in society.