"Punishing the accused is important, but taking the life away is not the
solution, to mark a difference between him and us would be to understand the
nature of Human Rights in the common interest of all."
The concept of death penalty is existing in India since decades, whether it was
the dynasty rule era, or the Mughals or the British Raj or Post- Independence
death penalty is a way used to administer Justice. The United Nations on the
other hand via its Charter of Rights declared that death penalty or capital
punishment is a crime against Humanity and has requested the countries member of
the UN to get it abolished.
India, precisely is a member of the UN but India has still not abolished or
abandoned the practise of Death Penalty, this is quiet contrary to the very
basic structure of the Constitution of India. Article 21 (One of the Articles
among the Golden Triangle) precisely states that the Government has no right to
take away Life, Article 21 one of the Fundamental Rights of the Constitution of
India guarantees Right to Life.
India maintains its own stand on death penalty and Moratorium at the UN General
Assembly and in India execution is carried out in "rarest of the rare case."
"Death is inevitable, but it should be natural.
Death Penalty or Capital Punishment
When a person commits a crime, it is punishable under the Law. Death Penalty is
a legal way wherein an accused is put to death by the state for the commission
of a crime committed by him. The death penalty or the capital punishment is the
legal penalty or the punishment for the crime as committed. The process of
punishing the person or accused through a judicial decree is referred to as a
Death Sentence. The process of killing a person through death penalty or
capital punishment is termed as Execution. The nature of the crimes that result
in death sentence are capital offences or capital crimes.
There are various methods adopted for execution that were or are being practised
across the globe.
- Death by Burning,
- Death by Hanging,
- Headman's Axe,
- Execution by Firing, etc.
"Change is the reality, bring in the require change for the world to be a
India and Background of Death Penalty or Capital Punishment
Death penalty or capital punishment is prevalent in India since ages and it has
been a major topic of dispute as well, with various organisations and
institutions giving different stats about the number of executions being
conducted in India, Post- Independence. According to the official records there
have been 30 executions since 1991 and the latest being in 2020. On the contrary
the People Union for Civil liberties states that between 1953 and 1963 a total
of 1422 executions have been conducted.
As per a Research by the NLU, Delhi a total of 755 executions since 1947. So
executions has been a matter of dispute in India.
Law and Death Penalty- Constitutional or Unconstitutional
Death Penalty which is considered a crime against Humanity or Human rights, was
first time challenged in the US. The constitutional validity was challenged and
as a measure death penalty was abolished. The first ever state to abolish the
concept of death penalty is Pennsylvania. Death Penalty has been strongly
opposed in US, but countries like India, Saudi Arabia still follow the practise
and is not yet abolished in these countries.
In India death penalty is awarded in a rarest of the rare case, the process of
performing the execution is hanging by the neck.
The law which provides for death sentence in India is Section 53 of the Indian
Penal Code, 1860 and the procedure is laid down in Section 368 of the Indian
Penal Code. There has been a form a little revolution in consideration in India
pertaining to death penalty, it was noticed in the case,
Mithu Vs State of Punjab
, wherein The Supreme Court held that mandatory
death penalty as per Section 303 of the IPC, is unconstitutional in nature and
it struck down Section 303 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Another important Judgment that marks change is:
Bachan Singh Vs State of Punjab
, wherein the Supreme Court held death
penalty was constitutional only in the rarest of the rare cases.
Crimes in India - Punishable by Death Penalty or Capital Punishment
The Indian Penal Code, 1860 describes the Crime punishable by death penalty;
they are as follows:
- Murder; Aggravated- Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code- this Section
provides the instances in which death is rewarded as a punishment for the
- Terrorism- Anti National (Offences related to these) are punishable with
- Rape- Aggravated, is punishable with Capital Punishment.
- Treason- the act of Waging War against the state or government is
punishable with death sentence.
- Kidnapping is an act punishable by death sentence.
Sometimes there is a delay caused in the execution of a death sentence and
the reason precisely is the appeal that is being made to reverse death penalty
Death Penalty is a crime against Human Nature and Humanity. We are born into
this world to live and not die. Right to Life as guaranteed in India as a
Fundamental Right should be respected and the process of death penalty should be
abolished. The process of death penalty not only drains a person physically but
also mentally. Death shouldn't be the way to deal with a crime. "To beg for
death, due to the physical and mental torture shouldn't be the case, life is a
right to live and not beg."
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