Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday said that though there was no collective view of the government on the issue, he personally was in favour of abolishing the death penalty in the country.
The minister said that "it is my personal view and not the collective view of the government that death penalty should be abolished".
He said that even in judiciary they have coined an "ingenious" phrase "in rarest of rare cases" for the award of the death sentence.
However, Khurshid regretted that "incidents of terrorism have detracted debate on the issue".
Khurshid said this in response to queries after his keynote address at a function to mark the International Day in Support of Victim of Torture jointly organised here by the Delegation of European Union in India and United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan.
Fielding a question on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Khurshid said: "The AFSPA is not a good thing but the reason why it was imposed was also not a good thing."
On the question of reforming the AFSPA, Khurshid said Home Minister P. Chidambaram felt that "there is a need or possibility of beginning of reforms that could be wholesale, piecemeal, uni-dimensional or multidimensional".
He said that there was a resistance to reforms from some quarters, but added that it was entirely on account of lack of information.
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