New Delhi, August 1: Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi voiced his opinion to abolish capital punishment in the nation. Calling the death penalty as futile, he said “It is the certainty of punishment and not it’s severity that acts as an effective deterrent.” Hinting towards an institutional bias, Varun Gandhi highlighted the fact that 94 per cent death row convicts are dalits and minorities.Also Read - Delhi: Youth Congress Carries Candle March Against Rape-Murder of Minor Dalit Girl
In an opinion piece he wrote in Outlook, Varun Gandhi said “The poor consistently get the short end of the legal stick. The death penalty is a consequence of poor legal representation and institutional bias.” He further pointed out that 75 per cent of those awarded death sentence belong to the economically backward society, while most of them are socially marginalised. “94 per cent of death row convicts are Dalits or from the minorities,” he added. (ALSO READ: ‘Death penalty wrong in principle and practice’: Shashi Tharoor) Also Read - Sameet Thakkar Granted Bail By Mumbai Court After 21 Days In Custody
In a veiled reference towards Yakub Memon’s execution, he said “A death penalty at the end of a long and tedious process is no deterrent.” The Saharanpur MP demanded the government to abolish death penalty with immediate effect. “India, as one of the 58-odd countries where death penalty is retained, needs to recognise the changing global scenario. For the largest democracy, the death penalty is an anomaly. It needs correction. Many that live do deserve death. And some that die deserve life. One must not be too eager to deal out death in judgement,” he added. Also Read - Capital Punishment For Accused, Rs 1 Crore Compensation: Balrampur Victim's Family Sends List of Demands to UP Govt
Varun Gandhi’s view on capital punishment comes in the backdrop of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s controversial tweet in which he slammed the government for executing Memon. While he refrained from speaking on the merits of the case, Tharoor termed the death penalty as “state-sponsored execution” which brings the nation to shame. His statements drew heavy criticism.