No death penalty
What is your stance on capital punishment?
I'm very much against it. I say a person should be sentenced for life. Life imprisonment should not be for fourteen years, but for as long as someone is living. I'm of that opinion.
But why has that legislation never come in, in India?
Because, see, both the parties have felt that people would be horrified if they say ''No death penalty''.
Because here, crimes are very sordid, very bad. But I think it should be done. Probably it will be done.
But that means life imprisonment has to be extended for life, like in America, not just fourteen years.
You've also spoken of how, in the Rajya Sabha, you used to forgo your daily allowance if no business was conducted in Parliament and pressed for the same for all MPs. How was that overruled?
I did write to the Chairman, and he said the Members don't agree. After all, when there is no business conducted in the House, we are not entitled to fees. And the Legal Department agreed with me. So, then, I went to the Chairman, and said see, if it's legally acceptable, then it should be applicable to all. He said okay, I'll discuss it with the business committee, and they said no. It united all parties, of course. (Laughs)
In Picture: An opponent of the death penalty attends the 15th Annual Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on July 2, 2008.
Image copyright: AFP. Any unauthorized reproduction is prohibited
The third and final part of this interview will be published on Thursday, November 1 on sify.com