Commenters have suggested that Justice Iyer is getting senile. Not really, it is Justice that has suffered from an onset of senility. Amartya Sen will be writing a book about what V R Krishna Iyer has already put in practice. Justice, acording to Sen, will not be achieved by identifying specific principles that are to be upheld, violation of which would constitute injustice. Instead, like pornography, we will know injustice when we see it. So, Justice Iyer saw injustice in hanging Dhananjay Chatterjee, so he opposed hanging him. He sees injustice in dowry harrassment, so he supports hanging those who drive women to death for dowry. The relevant principles can be thought up after we figure out which side we are on.
The New Indian Express, July 29, 2009:
Asking for July 29 to be observed as the ‘death sentence day’ for dowry harassment across the world, Justice V R Krishna Iyer, former judge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, “The Indian Dowry Prevention Act is still inadequate. Not a single person has been sentenced to death for dowry harassment till date.” (Hang Dowry Seekers: Ex-Judge)
The Hindu, August 13, 2004:
The former judge of the Supreme Court, V.R. Krishna Iyer, writer Khushwant Singh and eight other prominent personalities have appealed to the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to stop the execution of Dhananjoy Chatterjee following the dismissal of the petition by the apex court seeking a stay of the execution fixed for tomorrow.
They drew the President’s attention to the fact that there had been a general shift worldwide towards total abolition or towards the non-use of death penalty.
They said the International Criminal Court set up in 1998 by 120 countries did not allow itself to hand down death sentence even though it oversees large-scale heinous crimes including rape, murder, crimes against humanity and genocide. The United Nations Security Council had also disallowed death penalty by the International Criminal Tribunals trying crimes in Rwanda and the former Yogoslavia. As many as 79 countries had abolished death penalty completely, 15 had abolished for all except wartime crimes and 23 have it in law but not in practice for the last 10 years (Krishna Iyer, others appeal to President )