India :- Law Commission recomendations not heeded?

India do have the death penalty in its laws –  ‘but President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected a number of mercy pleas in recent years, ending a de facto eight-year moratorium.’ In September 2015, The Law Commission recommended for the abolition of death penalty save for terror offences. On 4/2/2016, another 11 have been sentenced to death.


End death penalty, keep it only for terror: Law panel tells government

In its 272-page draft report, the commission favoured speedy abolition of the death penalty from the statute books, except in cases where the accused is convicted of involvement in a terror case or waging war against the nation.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: September 1, 2015 3:58 am

death penalty, law commission, capital punishment, death penalty in terror case, law commission of india, supreme court India is one of 59 countries where the death penalty is still awarded by courts.Over 53 years after it favoured retention of the death penalty in statute books, the Law Commission of India recommended Monday that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism-related offences and waging war against the country. This was first reported by The Indian Express last Friday.

Full text of Law Commission report

In its report, submitted to the government by commission chairman and former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah, the 10-member panel concluded that while death penalty does not serve the penological goal of deterrence any more than life imprisonment, concern is often raised that abolition of capital punishment for terror-related offences and waging war will affect national security.


Watch Video
However, three members of the commission including two representing the Ministry of Law and Justice — Law Secretary P K Malhotra and Legislative Secretary Sanjay Singh — submitted dissent notes against the recommendation to abolish death penalty. The third dissent note was given by Law Commission member and former Delhi High Court judge Usha Mehra who referred to the rights of “innocent victims”.

 Time not ripe yet to abolish death penalty, says Home Ministry

Questioning the “rarest of rare” doctraine, the panel said that administration of death penalty, even within the “restrictive environment of rarest of rare doctraine”, was constitutionally unsustainable.“After many lengthy and detailed deliberations, it is the view of the Law Commission that the administration of death penalty, even within the restrictive environment of ‘rarest of rare’ doctrine, is constitutionally unsustainable. Continued administration of death penalty asks very difficult constitutional questions… these questions relate to the miscarriage of justice, errors, as well as the plight of the poor and disenfranchised in the criminal justice system,” the report stated.

Pointing out that in the last decade, the Supreme Court had on “numerous occasions expressed concern about arbitrary sentencing” in death penalty cases, the panel said, “There exists no principled method to remove such arbitrariness from capital sentencing. A rigid, standardisation or categorisation of offences which does not take into account the difference between cases is arbitrary in that it treats different cases on the same footing. Anything less categorical, like the Bachan Singh framework itself, has demonstrably and admittedly failed.”

The commission also questioned the mercy petition system, provided for under the Constitution, saying, “The exercise of mercy powers under Articles 72 and 161 have failed in acting as the final safeguard against miscarriage of justice in the imposition of the death sentence.”

The report stated that from January 26, 1950 till date, successive Presidents have accepted 306 mercy petitions and rejected 131.

Referring to victims of crimes, the panel said in focusing on death penalty “as the ultimate measure of justice to victims”, the restorative and rehabilitative aspects of justice are lost sight of.

It said reliance on the death penalty diverts attention from other problems ailing the criminal justice system such as poor investigation, crime prevention and rights of victims of crime. It is essential that the state establish effective compensation schemes to rehabilitate victims of crime.

At the same time, it is also essential, the panel said, that courts use the power granted to them under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to grant appropriate compensation to victims in suitable cases.

“The voices of victims and witnesses are often silenced by threats and other coercive techniques employed by powerful accused persons. Hence, it is essential that a witness protection scheme also be established. The need for police reforms for better and more effective investigation and prosecution has also been universally felt for some time now and measures regarding the same need to be taken on a priority basis,” the report stated.


– See more at:

India court sentences 11 to death for land-grab murder

KOLKATA (AFP) – An Indian court sentenced 11 political activists to death Thursday (Feb 4) for murdering a housewife in an attempt to illegally procure disputed land from a village in the eastern part of the country.

The court in West Bengal state found the group guilty of shooting dead Aparna Bag when she tried to stop armed men from grabbing land she claimed to own in November 2014.

The activists from the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress party tried to forcefully seize the land, in Nadia district about 150km from Kolkata, saying it belonged to the government.

“A district sessions court… convicted all the 11 accused for murdering 38-year-old housewife Aparna Bag before handing down the death sentences,” public prosecutor Tamal Mukherjee told AFP.

“The court awarded the death sentence to all the 11 accused in the case and they should be hanged till death,” Mukherjee said.

Three other villagers who were shot in the incident survived.

Executions are rarely carried out in India, but President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected a number of mercy pleas in recent years, ending a de facto eight-year moratorium.

In the most recent case, India executed Yakub Memon in July for his role in a series of co-ordinated attacks that killed hundreds of people in Mumbai in 1993.

The country’s top court has said that capital punishment should only be carried out in “the rarest of rare” cases in India, among a dwindling group of nations that still have the death penalty on their statute books. – The Straits Times

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s