Somnath backs death for rapists

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and eminent jurist Somnath Chatterjee Saturday advocated the death sentence for rapists, saying perhaps that could play a deterrent for those perpetrating such heinous crimes.

Rattled by the death of the Delhi gangrape victim, Chatterjee called it a national tragedy saying everybody should see to it that such incidents are repeated. "I don't mind if law is amended and capital punishment is awarded in incidents of rape. But at the same time I also want quick justice. The system of meting out punishment to a culprit should be quick and fast, cases of rape have been piling up in courts. Okay, I am not talking of summary trial... in a democracy that is not possible and that is not desirable too. But awarding justice should be quick and fast," Chatterjee told The Sunday Express.

He, however, also said punishment alone cannot be a deterrent. "If you commit murder, you will be hanged, that is what the law says. But tell me has this been able to stop murders? What is needed is social awareness. Vigorous campaigns at every sphere, in schools, colleges, offices teaching the value of humanism. That no other girl like the one in Delhi, a hapless unarmed girl, can suffer and die ultimately," Chatterjee said.

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