Terming as "a terrible thing" the arrest of two girls for posting comments on Facebook questioning the Mumbai bandh for Bal Thackeray's funeral, former chief justice of India MN Venkatachaliah on Saturday said police should know on what grounds they were making such arrests.
"It is a terrible thing to happen. Police have the power to arrest, but they should know on which grounds the arrests are made," he told reporters in Coimbatore.
On November 18, Shaheen Dhada and Renu were arrested in Thane district under 66A of the IT Act over their Facebook post, questioning the shutdown in the city for Shiv Sena chief's funeral. The girls were later granted bail.
Asked for his views on capital punishment, the former CJI, who was here to release a book, said though there are exceptions in some cases, there should be a national debate on whether there should be death sentence.
To another question on encounter deaths, Venkatachaliah, former chairman of National Human Rights Commission, said, "In rare cases, a police official can open fire in self defence. However, killing a person after tying him up and immobilising him should be questioned."
He said the present situation in India is like in pre-revolution days in Russia, China and France as "30% of the population do not have faith in social justice and justice of governance."