Congress leader moves bill in RS to abolish death penalty; BJP leaders oppose legislation, say capital punishment 'acts as deterrent'

New Delhi: A private members bill seeking abolition of death penalty was introduced in the Rajya Sabha Friday by a Congress member.

Moving the bill, Pradeep Tamta said that countries around the world were moving away from awarding capital punishment and India should also follow the suit.

"Around 140 countries have abolished capital punishment around the globe. There are only 53 countries which currently award death penalties. Most of these countries do not have democratic governments," he added.

 Congress leader moves bill in RS to abolish death penalty; BJP leaders oppose legislation, say capital punishment acts as deterrent

Parliament of India. PTI

He said that in many cases, people are awarded the punishment due to faulty investigations and later such sentences are revoked by the higher judiciary.

"If it (death penalty) has to be retained then we have to see that it is given after proper contemplation. The more important part is the need to check the circumstances which force people to commit such hienous crimes," Tamta said.

He added that many people from minorities and SC/ST communities suffer in the judicial process as they do not get proper legal aid.

Tamta said that instead of awarding death penalty the country should look at other options like keeping a criminal behind the bars for his entire life.

Law Commission had earlier recommended abolition of death penalty, except in cases of terrorism. The government is yet to take a decision on it.

Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur of BJP opposed the Bill. He said the countries with big populations like China and the US have retained the provision of death penalty.

He added that demand for capital punishment has been going up in the country due to rise in heinous crimes like child rapes and acts of terrorism.

Chhaya Verma of Congress and Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) supported the bill saying that the government should look at rehabilitation and reforming criminals.

Citing Kathua rape case, Sanjay Singh of (AAP) said that perpetrators of such heinous crimes should be awarded the death penalty.

Opposing the Bill, DP Vats of BJP said capital punishment has acted as a deterrent in countries like China, Saudi Arabia and has brought the crime rate down.

According to him, in India capital punishment is very low and from 2015 only 5 people have been hanged, which is very minimal.

He also said there should not be any preferential treatment for criminals and said that they are liability on the nation and also on the taxpayers.

Ashok Bajpai of BJP said that hardcore criminals should be awarded harsher punishments and any leniency towards them is like giving protection to them.

"If they are pardoned, then the fear factor in the society would go away," he said adding " capital punishment is necessary for hardcore criminals" like contract killers and kidnappers.

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2019 00:08:21 IST