Campaign Against the Death Penalty in India

Satnam Bains organised and presented at the recent "Campaign Against the Death Penalty in India" conference.

"The death penalty is judicial murder"
Former Supreme Court Judge K T Thomas, 27 April 2013

Given the disturbing recent trend of the death penalty being carried out arbitrarily this year in India, a national campaign against the death penalty comprising of distinguished jurists, senior lawyers, human rights groups, academics, NGOs and activists has converged to highlight the disappointing return to capital punishment. The secretive and barbaric nature of these executions has added to the alarm and concern.

The purpose of the conference is to provide a rational critique from eminent and distinguished speakers, as to how the death penalty as a means of punishment and deterrence is both dangerous and flawed as a penal objective in 2013.

The conference will examine some of the following topics with eminent speakers including:

  • Justice A.K. Ganguli (Retd), Supreme Court, Juvenile Justice: the death penalty for juveniles accused of serious offences
  • Justice A. P. Shah (Retd.), Chief Justice Delhi High Court, A judges View of the use and abuse of the death penalty.
  • Colin Gonsalves, Senior Supreme Court Advocate and director of HRLN, Access to justice, flawed investigations, legal aid and the right to a fair trial where the death penalty is carried out.
  • Shashi Kumar Velath, Amnesty International, The“Lethal Lottery”, activism and mobilization.
  • Meagan Lee, Reprieve, India bucking the trend: The global move away from the death penalty and “Death-row Syndrome”,
  • Anup Surendranath, Professor National Law University Delhi, TADA – Emergency Legislation and the Death Penalty.
  • Navneet Bhullar, My struggle against the death penalty
  • Satnam Singh Bains, Barrister at Chambers Lord Gifford QC, London, Miscarriages of justice and the irreversible nature of the death penalty.

This conference has been organised by Human Rights Law Network in collaboration with Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Free Bhullar Campaign AISA, Anhad, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association, Indian Alliance for Child Rights, Lawyers for Human Rights International, Lawyers for Justice, People’s Watch, Sikh Human Rights Groups and other NGOs.