India has voted against a UN General Assembly draft resolution on the utilization of death penalty, saying it goes against the statutory law of the country where an execution is carried out in the “rarest of rare” cases.
The draft resolution, taken up in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the General Assembly Tuesday, was approved with a combined vote of 123 in favor, 36 against and 30 abstentions.
India was among the countries that voted against the resolution, which would have the Assembly call on all States to respect international standards on the rights of those facing the death penalty and confirm that it is not applied on the basis of discriminatory laws or as a result of the discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law.
First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi, providing the country’s explanation of vote, said the resolution sought to promote a moratorium on executions with the aim of abolishing the death penalty.
“My delegation has voted against the resolution as a whole, as it goes against the statutory law in India,” she commented.
“In India, the death penalty is exercised in ‘rarest of rare’ cases, where the crime committed is so dangerous that it shocks the conscience of the society. Indian law provides for all requisite procedural safeguards, including the right to a fair trial by an independent Court, the presumption of innocence, the minimum guarantees for defense, and the right to review by a higher court,” she commented.
The draft resolution’s passage followed the critical debate and Singapore introduced an amendment on behalf of 34 countries that reaffirmed the countries’ sovereign right to develop their own legal system. The Committee then approved this amendment by a recorded vote of 96 in favor to 73 against, with 14 abstentions. India voted in favor of this amendment.