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Bill to abolish death penalty moved in Rajya Sabha

NEW DELHI, dec 19, 2014, DHNS 0:45 IST

Communist Party of India-Marxist MP P Rajeev introduced the private members bill in the Rajya Sabha recently seeking to abolish death penalty.

The bill seeks to bring in amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Army Act.

Section 53 of the IPC, 31A of NDPS Act and 34 of Army Act deal with capital punishment and the MP wants these provisions to be deleted.

“So far, 98 countries have abolished death penalty. It is time for India to follow suit,” the bill moved by Rajeev stated.

The bill comes at a time when a section of activists and lawyers are campaign-
ing against the execution of Surender Kohli, who is convicted in the Nithari serial killing case.
As per official statistics, there were 182 death convicts in India at the end of 2013.

Giving the rationale for such a bill, Rajeev told Deccan Herald that death penalty is “pre-meditated and cold blooded killing of human beings by the State.”

He said most of those sentenced to death are from the poor strata of the society, as they couldnot afford quality legal help.

Officials figures show that death sentence of 1,552 convicts was confirmed, while the death sentences for 4,382 convicts were commuted to life imprisonment.

This implies that 5,934 convicts were given death sentence in the last 12 years in India, which would mean that two convicts were given death sentence every working day of the judiciary, a report by NGO Asian Centre for Human Rights said recently.

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