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Nothing to suggest death penalty is a deterrent: UN official

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 20:06

New Delhi: Amid demands for death for rape in India, a top UN official on Wednesday disfavoured it saying there is "nothing to suggest that death penalty is a deterrent".

UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, also said the recommendations of the Justice Verma commission and subsequent legislation was a "golden moment for India" but regretted that "amendments do not fully reflect" the panel`s recommendation.

"I doubt anywhere in the world...There is nothing to suggest that death penalty is a deterrant... One needs to look at what purpose does it serve," she said and suggested that transformation of the society and empowerment of women is more important to address the issue.

Welcoming the government`s speedy response including the new legislative reform after the rape incident of December 16, Manjoo said, "While this legislative reform is to be commended, it is regrettable that the amendments do not fully reflect the Verma Committee`s recommendation.

"It is unfortunate that the opportunity to establish a substantiative and specific equality and non-discrimination rights legislative framework for women, to address de facto in equality and discrimination, and to protect and prevent against all forms of violence against women, was lost."

Noting that the speedy developments and also the adoption of law and order approach to sexual wrongs, now includes death penalty for certain crimes against women, Manjoo said, "this development foreclosed the opportunity to establish a holistic and remedial framework which is underpinned by transformative norms and standards, including those relating to sexual and bodily integrity".

"Furthermore, the approach adopted fails to address the structural and root causes and consequences of violence against women," she said.


First Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 20:06

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