On Thursday 28 February 2013 the House of Commons debated a motion relating to the Kesri Lehar Petition to abolish the death penalty in India. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee. John McDonnell and Fabian Hamilton appeared before the Backbench Business Committee to request this debate.
The House agreed to the motion:
"That this House welcomes the national petition launched by the Kesri Lehar campaign urging the UK Government to press the Indian government to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which encompasses the death penalty, with the result that India would abolish the death penalty and lift this threat from Balwant Singh Rajoana and others."
Watch the debate and read a transcript
Watch the debate on Parliament TV and read the views expressed by MPs in Commons Hansard.
How the subject was selected
The subject for this debate was determined by the Backbench Business Committee following representations by John McDonnell and Fabian Hamilton on 29 January 2013 and a further representation by John McDonnell on 12th February.
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.
An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.
The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV