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Former A P J Abdul Kalam favours abolition of death penalty

Kalam said as President he felt pain in deciding mercy petitions of death row convicts since most of them had 'social and economic bias'.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2015 3:27 am
APJ Abdul Kalam Azad, Former President of India. Former President of India A P J Abdul Kalam

Former president A P J Abdul Kalam has supported abolition of the death penalty, saying that as President he felt pain in deciding mercy petitions of death row convicts since most of them had “social and economic bias”.

Responding to a Law Commission of India consultation paper on capital punishment, Kalam is one of the few to support abolition of the death sentence .

Quoting from his book Turning Points, he said, “One of the more difficult tasks for me as President was to decide on the issue of confirming capital punishment awarded by courts… to my surprise… almost all cases which were pending had a social and economic bias. This gave me an impression that we were punishing the person who was least involved in the enmity and who did not have a direct motive for committing the crime,” he said.

Kalam, however, said there was one case where he found the convict had committed the crime without doubt. “In that case I affirmed the sentence.” He was referring to Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was executed for the rape and murder of an 18-year-old Kolkata girl.

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    Chand
    Jul 10, 2015 at 8:48 am
    Who is this person? Oh.. he was the president of India.... And as a President he had his chance to fix the Judicial system..... Did he improve the ratio of courts to people or reduce the backlog of cases in courts. So why is he speaking now?
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      Damaru Prasad
      Jul 9, 2015 at 5:16 pm
      He has despite being a former president very little insight into the need to dish out justice who face devils. On the contrary the need is to speed up the case without any break and hang those arrested for heinous crime in a week.
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        divya dang
        Jul 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm
        there should be a holiday tomorrow for Dr. abdul kalam's honour
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          Anonymous
          Jul 10, 2015 at 1:32 pm
          Please do not spare rape, multiple murder convicts. These convicts can be offered to cement factory freely to use it in their furnaces instead of fire wood
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            Anonymous
            Jul 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm
            Yes. We have to change the present situation of delay in deciding about death penalty. Because, we provide ample time which involve president time also people take this topic for debate. Death penalty on clear cut cases should be awarded to close the file in less than 11 months.
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