A private members bill seeking abolition of death penalty was moved in the Rajya Sabha on Friday by a Congress member.
Moving the Abolition of Capital Punishment Bill, 2016, 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.
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 heinous 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 the abolition of the death penalty, except in cases of terrorism. The government is yet to take a decision on it.
Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur (BJP) of BJP opposed the bill. He said the countries with big populations like China and the US have retained the provision of the death penalty.
He added that demand for capital punishment has been going up in the country due to a 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.