Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said with around 300 persons on the death row, we must ponder whether the capital punishment should be retained, and if yes, must determine a timeframe for its execution.
Fadnavis, himself a law graduate, was speaking at a discussion on relevance of capital punishment at the State Lawyers Conference organised by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa which started here today.
"Even after the Supreme Court upholds the death punishment, it takes so many years to execute it," he said, pointing out that about 300 convicts are on the death row in the country at present.
It was time we discussed whether the capital punishment is needed, and if yes, then what should be the timeframe to execute it, he added.
Yakub Memon, the sole convict of 1993 Mumbai blasts case to be sentenced to death, was hanged at Nagpur prison in Maharashtra on July 31 this year.
Former Chief Justice of Orissa High court Bilal Nazki opposed the capital punishment. "Are we equipped to know who deserves death and who doesn't," Nazki asked.
"When you don't know if you are going to die or not, then it's very painful," he said, adding "what does the victim get if the accused is killed".
"We don't have rehabilitation policy regarding the victims of terrorism," Justice Nazki pointed out.
Former Supreme Court judge V S Sirpurkar favoured continuance of death penalty. "It is a very effective deterrence....If you take away the death sentence then the future criminals will turn this country into a jungle," he said.