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Death Penalty Against Humanity

"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.
  1. Wheel,
  2. Death by Burning,
  3. Death by Hanging,
  4. Guillotining,
  5. Headman's Axe,
  6. Execution by Firing, etc.

"Change is the reality, bring in the require change for the world to be a better place."

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:
  1. Murder; Aggravated- Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code- this Section provides the instances in which death is rewarded as a punishment for the crime.
  2. Terrorism- Anti National (Offences related to these) are punishable with death penalty.
  3. Rape- Aggravated, is punishable with Capital Punishment.
  4. Treason- the act of Waging War against the state or government is punishable with death sentence.
  5. 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 to punishment.

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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