Akali Dal calls for abolition of capital punishment

   Mar 30, 5:06 pm

New Delhi, Mar.30 (ANI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party has called on the government to abolish the barbaric practice of capital punishment, saying that the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights, and is a premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice.

In a statement issued here days after the government stayed the March 31 execution of B.S. Rajoana, a co-conspirator in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in August 1995, the party's Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral said that India would do well to follow the example of 96 other countries around the world which have abolished the practice of capital punishment.

He also said that Amnesty International regards another 34 countries to be de facto abolitionists of capital punishment.

Describing India as the land of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, whose ideals are cherished by the country's citizens, Gujral said: "The Guru Granth Sahib, the Buddhist tenets and the New Testament all believe that the power to give or take life lies only with God."

He said that while India has retained the 1861 Penal Code after gaining independence from British colonial rule, the legality of applying the death penalty which is a part of the Penal Code, has been challenged a many a times in the Supreme Court.

He said that the death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Gujral said that the main countries contributing to death penalty are China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

"India is a democratic nation and we should not give occasion to be bracketed with these countries. I would urge the government to take immediate steps and bring forward a legislation to abolish Capital Punishment from our Statute," he said. (ANI)

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