Capital punishment does not deter crime, veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar said after six people were convicted for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua last year.
A Special Court in Pathankot on Monday convicted six people in the case and awarded life imprisonment running to 25 years to three — temple priest and mastermind Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar.
Akhtar spoke about it at the launch of author Sonal Sonkavde’s book titled “So What” here on Monday.
“I heard it on television that those people who are responsible for that inhuman and barbaric act have been given a life sentence. I also heard that some people were disappointed with the verdict because they thought that these people deserve capital punishment. But honestly speaking, I don’t have clear cut ideas about capital punishment and whether it is right or wrong.”
He said the debate over capital punishment is going on all over the world.
“One thing I am sure about is that capital punishment is not a deterrent of crime because where people have banned capital punishment, the crime has not increased and in countries where the provision of capital punishment is there, the crime hasn’t reduced. So, it is not a deterrent.”
Akhtar, however, said the accused shouldn’t walk out free after two or three years after being sentenced to life imprisonment.
“I have no idea whether they should have been given capital punishment or life imprisonment is good enough, but at the same time, I must express my apprehension that we have seen many times in our society that somebody who has committed a heinous crime gets life imprisonment and after two or three years, you realize the person has been released on one ground or the other and then he or she lives happily ever after.
“So, I hope life imprisonment is good enough but they shouldn’t be having these privileges where the same person will be walking out freely after two or three years.”