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Death penalty diverse attention from other problems in criminal justice system: Child rights activist

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New Delhi: Just after the President Ram Nath Kovind permitted the ordinance to introduce death penalty for rape, child rape and women rights activists showcased their dissatisfaction with the order and said that death penalty diverse attention from other problems in criminal justice system.

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The issues were articulated by a six member bench headed by former Delhi HC Chief Justice A.P. Shah, advocate Vrinda Grover, Anuja Gupta from RAHI Foundation, Bharti Ali of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, Anup Surendranath of Centre on Death Penalty at a press conference at Press Club yesterday.

“The remedy offered is based on wrong diagnosis. The enhancement of the punishment including death penalty will have disastrous consequences on children. The ordinance is reactionary, impractical in terms of the procedural changes brought in and disproportionate with regards to sentencing,” Shah said.

The panel highlighted that in every nine of the ten cases, the perpetrator is known to the victim and the child is often pressurised into turning hostile.

“Such pressure will increase manifold if death penalty is imposed. Mostly there are pressures of settling the matter within the family. The death penalty diverse attention from other problems in the criminal justice system such as poor investigation, crime prevention,” he added.

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