Dear A.S.S. Editor
Law Minister K Shanmugam said that how society feels about the punishment meted out in criminal cases has to be something the Government must pay heed to, but this does not equate to bowing to public pressure.
In his own words, this is what he exactly said – “You enhance the penalty (for a certain law) to reflect what people feel is the right penalty, what conduct should be more severely punished — that is not bowing down; that is understanding where the weight of public opinion is.” Minister K Shanmugam was talking about this in an interview with TODAY. What he is saying is that the government need to hear public’s opinions on whether the punishment given for a crime befits the crime itself, and if the public agrees with it.
So, if the public does not think it is fair for someone to be jailed lesser time for a serious crime, then the government must take actions to prevent this unfair punishment to be meted out in the future. He said this is not bowing down to public pressure, but actually listening to the ground sentiments.
You be the judge