The author of this blog is Sejal Chaudhary, student of 2nd year, MATS Law School, MATS University, Chattisgarh

All punishments are based on the same proposition, whatever the crime is done, for every crime there is a punishment that’s why it is said all punishments are based on the same proposition that is there must be a penalty for wrongdoing.

There are two main reasons for giving the punishment to the wrongdoer.

-    One is the belief that it is both right and just that a person who has done wrong should suffer for it;

-    And the other is the belief that inflicting punishment on wrongdoers discourages other, person from doing wrong.

The capital punishment also rests on the same proposition as other punishments.

I will say that, this topic is hot topic and a trending topic and it is also a topic of debate. The capital punishment debate is the most generally relevant debate, keeping in mind the situation that has been brought about by today. Capital punishment is an integral part of the Indian criminal justice system. Increasing strength of the human rights movement in India, the existence of capital punishment is questioned as immoral. However, this is an odd argument as keeping one person alive at the cost of the lives of numerous members or potential victims in the society is unbelievable and in fact, that is morally wrong.

Capital punishment, is also known or, called as death penalty. The term “Capital Punishment” stands for most severe form of punishment. It is the punishment which is to be awarded for the most heinous, grievous, and detestable crimes against humanity. While the definition and extent of such crimes vary from country to country, state to state, age to age, the implication of capital punishment has always been the death sentence. By common usage in jurisprudence, criminology and penology, capital sentence means a sentence of death.

As we can see there are increasing views on the abolition of capital punishment in India, and considering all these views in order to abolish capital punishment in India it requires a serious consideration. So, we need to analyze whether capital punishment is required in India or not whether there is a need to abolish capital punishment from India but before the analysis of whether we need capital punishment or not. First, we need to understand what is the evolution of capital punishment in India now, first of all if we consider the first five year after the constitution was made we will see that death penalty was a normal punishment for murder, if a person commits a murder the person will be awarded with the death sentence or death penalty and this was very normal and this was during the first five years after the constitution was made and this practice changed in 1955. So, taking 1955 if a person commits murder the person will be awarded a death penalty. Now, again in 1955 this was changed and what happened the session judge was given a discretionary power so, the session judge was given a discretionary power to either two sentences so he was given a choice- what was a choice either capital punishment or life imprisonment so, if a person commits a murder the session judge has the discretion to award him either capital punishment or life imprisonment before that it was normal to award a capital punishment for committing murder. Then again in the year 1973 Cr.P.C was amended, it is the criminal procedure code, by amending it, parliament made it mandatory that the session judge is awarding a capital punishment to a person who has committed murder he has to show the reason why life imprisonment is awarded or why capital punishment was awarded. In Bachan Singh case the supreme court ruled that death penalty could be imposed only in the rarest of the rare cases so, this phrase might have been heard by many of us. The supreme court ruled in Bachan Singh case this is very important supreme court said that only in the RAREST OF THE RARE CASES that a judge or a court can rule for a capital punishment and this rarest of the rare cases means that alternative sentence of life is unquestionably foreclosed and again in Machhi Singh Vs. State of Punjab case, this case provided some exemptions to the earlier judgement of the supreme court that earlier in Bachan Singh case the supreme court has ruled that only in the rarest of the rare cases a person can be awarded a death penalty but in Machhi Singh Vs. State of Punjab case disclose that the rarest of the rare cases was given certain exception so, what are they first, exception was that if murder is committed in extremely brutal manner so as to eros extreme ignition of the community the second, exception was that if the murder is committed by a motive which evinces total depravity and meanness and thirdly, if the crime is enormous in proportion.

Protections guaranteed under constitution

1.              Article 21 states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law”.

2.              Article 72 says that the president can pardon even death sentence while the governor in a state cannot pardon death sentence. It empowers the president with the power of pardoning, it is also called the pardoning power of the president.

3.              Scope for judicial review, can be conducted if the presidential decision not to pardon the death sentence is arbitrary, irrational, and discriminatory.

4.              Article 134 provides that there is a right of appeal from the high court verdict to the supreme court and this is applicable in any case where capital punishment was imposed on an accused in reversal of an acquittal order.


Objectives of punishment

-    Retribution theory: It means that a person has done some offence and for that offence we are giving him some punishment. This theory is based on the principle “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Retribute means to give in return.

-    Reformative theory: It emphasizes on reformation of offenders through the method of individualization. Gandhi ji said that “Hate the sin not the sinner”.

-    Deterrence theory: It means providing punishment, a person is discouraged to do something it can be an offence or a crime and this is done by creating a fear of the consequences. The main objective of this theory is to deter(prevent) the criminals from doing the crime or repeating the same crime in future.

In conclusion I just want to say that this topic is a topic of debate. Different people have different views and even, different countries have different views on it. If a person says that the death as a penalty should get abolish, then someone else will say that there should be the death as a penalty, this topic was a hot topic in past still, it is a hot topic and I think in future also it will be a hot topic for all. But my view on this topic is that there should be a death penalty because some cases are there for which there should be a death as a penalty so, that in future no one tries to commit that same crime. Some people say that In Hinduism life and death are the gift of God and no human being has the right to take away the said gift; in Islam, human dignity stems from the belief that man is a creation of God – the creation that God loves more than any other. But, does that person who has committed a crime do they think about these things, about religion and humanity ?. I know I may sound like as same as the retributive theory of punishment “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” but if we give a person the death penalty then we can save many other from being a victim and a culprit.






-The Times of India newspaper

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