The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has welcomed the recent Supreme Court judgment commuting death sentence to 15 convicts and has expressed its views strongly against capital punishment.

In a meeting held here on Sunday on “Capital punishment in the light of Supreme Court judgment,’ V. Suresh, national secretary of PUCL, said the Supreme Court’s ruling would pave way for changing the perspective on capital punishment in the country.

Paying homage to Edward Arockiadoss, former president of Madurai PUCL, who passed away recently, Mr. Suresh recalled his association with him.

R. Murali, National Council Member of PUCL, who chaired the meeting, said, “Tamil Nadu government should take the lead in insisting abolition of capital punishment.”

The apex court’s ruling was a ray of hope to human rights activists who hope to abolish capital punishment in India, he added.

“In many cases where capital punishment is awarded, there are several loopholes that need to be investigated. The PUCL will stress on abolition of capital punishments in its future conventions,” he said. Several civilised countries in the world had abolished capital punishment and India should follow suit, he added.

S. Bala Murugan, general secretary of PUCL, insisted that India should become a capital punishment-free country. V. Saraswathi, president of PUCL, said that when India boasts of teaching civilisation to the world, it was unfortunate that capital punishment still prevailed in the country. She also recollected the services the late Arockiadoss lent to the marginalised sections of the society.

K. Kurinji, vice-president of PUCL, said the late Arockiadoss worked for the welfare of the tribal society.

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