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UK Parliamentarians to debate the issue of the Death Penalty in India

February 15, 2013 | By

London, United Kingdom (February 15, 2013): It is learnt that the UK Parliamentarians shall debate on the issue of death penalty in India on February 28, 2013.

It is notable that on December 10, 2012 Kesri Lehar campaigners had handed over a petition with 1,18,000 signatures to UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron. The focus of the petition was to urge the UK parliament to request India to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the UN Charter against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading treatment or punishment, which encompasses the ‘death penalty’. The petition had sought debate on the issue of death penalty and human rights in India.

Fabian Hamilton, Member of Parliament for Leeds North East (United Kingdom)

The recent announcement regarding the date of debate came from Fabian Hamilton Labour MP for Leeds North East and also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs.

Fabian Hamilton announced live on Sangat TV on February 14, 2013 that he had applied for a debate in the UK Parliament about the Abolition of the Death Penalty in India.

“The debate will be taking place on Thursday February 28, 2013 in the main chamber of the House of Commons” he reportedly informed.

It will be the first debate following Departmental and Business Questions as well as any statements, so it could start as early as 11.30 am or possibly 12.30 pm depending on that morning’s business.

It was announced on the ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’ programme on Sangat TV that the Sikh Federation (UK) had promised to ensure around 25-30 MPs speak in that debate and would be providing them detailed briefing on the death penalty in India and more specifically the case of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and Balwant Singh Rajoana.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK)

Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said in a statement: ‘There are many aspects of the case of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar that we will ask MPs to set out in the debate. The case of Balwant Singh Rajoana is different and the most important thing to highlight is the gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Beant Singh led Punjab Government.’

‘In addition, the debate provides an opportunity to expose the level of political corruption in India at the highest levels and a judicial system that has major flaws and means a minority community like the Sikhs can never get justice in India.

The Sikh Federation (UK) also informed viewers that it had been reported that Pranab Mukherjee, India’s President, has reportedly rejected the mercy petitions of four others on Tuesday. The President had now ordered the death penalty for seven convicts in the last seven months, more than any Indian President in the last 15 years.

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