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Published : August 07, 2015 | Author : Manmeet Singh
Category : Criminal law | Total Views : 3947 | Rating :

Manmeet Singh
I am B.A.LL.B (Hon's) final year of LL.M at Himachal Pradesh University

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment, death penalty or execution is punishment by death. The sentence that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally "regarding the head" (referring to execution by beheading).

Capital punishment has, in the past, been practiced by most societies, as a punishment for criminals, and political or religious dissidents. Historically, the carrying out of the death sentence was often accompanied by torture, and executions were most often public.

36 countries actively practice capital punishment, 103 countries have completely abolished it de jure for all crimes, 6 have abolished it for ordinary crimes only (while maintaining it for special circumstances such as war crimes), and 50 have abolished it de facto(have not used it for at least ten years and/or are under moratorium).

Nearly all countries in the world prohibit the execution of individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes; since 2009, only Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan have carried out such executions. Executions of this kind are prohibited under international law.

Capital punishment is a matter of active controversy in various countries and states, and positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region. In the European Union member states, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment. The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, also prohibits the use of the death penalty by its members.

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition. Although many nations have abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where executions take place, such as China, India, the United States and Indonesia, the four most-populous countries in the world, which continue to apply the death penalty (although in India and in many US states it is rarely employed). Each of these four nations has consistently voted against the General Assembly resolutions.

The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B.C.'s Hittite Code; in the Seventh Century B.C.'s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century B.C.'s Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement.

In the Tenth Century A.D., hanging became the usual method of execution in Britain. In the following century, William the Conqueror would not allow persons to be hanged or otherwise executed for any crime, except in times of war. This trend would not last, for in the Sixteenth Century, under the reign of Henry VIII, as many as 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed. Some common methods of execution at that time were boiling, burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, and drawing and quartering. Executions were carried out for such capital offenses as marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason.

The number of capital crimes in Britain continued to rise throughout the next two centuries. By the 1700s, 222 crimes were punishable by death in Britain, including stealing, cutting down a tree, and robbing a rabbit warren. Because of the severity of the death penalty, many juries would not convict defendants if the offense was not serious. This lead to reforms of Britain's death penalty. From 1823 to 1837, the death penalty was eliminated for over 100 of the 222 crimes punishable by death.

a) Nineteenth Century
In the early to mid-Nineteenth Century, the abolitionist movement gained momentum in the northeast. In the early part of the century, many states reduced the number of their capital crimes and built state penitentiaries. In 1834, Pennsylvania became the first state to move executions away from the public eye and carrying them out in correctional facilities.

In 1846, Michigan became the first state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes except treason. Later, Rhode Island and Wisconsin abolished the death penalty for all crimes. By the end of the century, the world would see the countries of Venezuela, Portugal, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Brazil and Ecuador follow suit.

Although some U.S. states began abolishing the death penalty, most states held onto capital punishment. Some states made more crimes capital offenses, especially for offenses committed by slaves. In 1838, in an effort to make the death penalty more palatable to the public, some states began passing laws against mandatory death sentencing instead enacting discretionary death penalty statutes. The 1838 enactment of discretionary death penalty statutes in Tennessee, and later in Alabama, were seen as a great reform. This introduction of sentencing discretion in the capital process was perceived as a victory for abolitionists because prior to the enactment of these statutes, all states mandated the death penalty for anyone convicted of a capital crime, regardless of circumstances. With the exception of a small number of rarely committed crimes in a few jurisdictions, all mandatory capital punishment laws had been abolished by 1963.

During the Civil War, opposition to the death penalty waned, as more attention was given to the anti-slavery movement. After the war, new developments in the means of executions emerged. The electric chair was introduced at the end of the century. New York built the first electric chair in 1888, and in 1890 executed William Kemmler. Soon, other states adopted this execution method.

b) Early and Mid-Twentieth Century
Although some states abolished the death penalty in the mid-Nineteenth Century, it was actually the first half of the Twentieth Century that marked the beginning of the "Progressive Period" of reform in the United States. From 1907 to 1917, six states completely outlawed the death penalty and three limited it to the rarely committed crimes of treason and first degree murder of a law enforcement official. However, this reform was short-lived. There was a frenzied atmosphere in the U.S., as citizens began to panic about the threat of revolution in the wake of the Russian Revolution. In addition, the U.S. had just entered World War I and there were intense class conflicts as socialists mounted the first serious challenge to capitalism. As a result, five of the six abolitionist states reinstated their death penalty by 1920.

In 1924, the use of cyanide gas was introduced, as Nevada sought a more humane way of executing its inmates. Gee Jon was the first person executed by lethal gas. The state tried to pump cyanide gas into Jon's cell while he slept, but this proved impossible, and the gas chamber was constructed.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, there was a resurgence in the use of the death penalty. This was due, in part, to the writings of criminologists, who argued that the death penalty was a necessary social measure. In the United States, Americans were suffering through Prohibition and the Great Depression. There were more executions in the 1930s than in any other decade in American history, an average of 167 per year.

In the 1950s, public sentiment began to turn away from capital punishment. Many allied nations either abolished or limited the death penalty, and in the U.S., the number of executions dropped dramatically. Whereas there were 1,289 executions in the 1940s, there were 715 in the 1950s, and the number fell even further, to only 191, from 1960 to 1976. In 1966, support for capital punishment reached an all-time low. A Gallup poll showed support for the death penalty at only 42%.

Capital Punishment in India
India retains capital punishment for a number of serious offences. The Indian Supreme Court has allowed the death penalty to be carried out in four instances since 1995.

The Supreme Court in Mithu vs State of Punjab struck down Section 303 of the Indian Penal Code, which provided for a mandatory death sentence for offenders serving a life sentence. The number of people executed in India since independence in 1947 is a matter of dispute; official government statistics claim that only 52 people had been executed since independence. However, research by the People's Union for Civil Liberties indicates that the actual number of executions is in fact much higher, as they located records of 1,422 executions in the decade from 1953 to 1963 alone. In December 2007, India voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty. In November 2012, India again upheld its stance on capital punishment by voting against the UN General Assembly draft resolution seeking to ban death penalty.

In colonial India, death was prescribed as one of the punishments in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), which listed a number of capital crimes. It remained in effect after independence in 1947.

Under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, no person can be deprived of his life except according to procedure established by law.

The Supreme Court of India ruled in 1983 that the death penalty should be imposed only in "the rarest of rare cases." While stating that honour killings fall within the "rarest of the rare" category, Supreme Court has recommended the death penalty be extended to those found guilty of committing "honour killings", which deserve to be a capital crime. The Supreme Court also recommended death sentences to be imposed on police officials who commit police brutality in the form of encounter killings.

An appeal filed in 2013 by Vikram Singh and another person facing the death sentence questioned the constitutional validity of Section 364A of the Indian Penal Code,

a) Capital Punishment in Various Legislation in India

Capital punishment is prescribed as one of the punishments in various of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, The Arms Act 1959, The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substance Act 1985, and The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987, The Air Force Act, 1950, The Army Act, 1950, and The Navy Act, 1957. In the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 also, there was a provision for death penalty for causing death of persons using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances in order to threaten the unity and integrity of India or to strike terror in the people. It is also interesting to note that under the Arms Act, NDPS Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act, Capital Punishment is the only punishment for the offence covered by those sections, thus leaving no room for the judiciary to exercise its discretion. It is doubtful whether these provisions can stand the test of the constitutional validity in the light of the decision in Mithu v. State of Punjab Because in this Case section 303 of the Indian Penal Code was struck down as violation of Article 21 and 14 of the Constitution of India, as the offence under the Section was punishable to exercise its direction and thus resulted in an unfair, unjust and unreasonable procedure depriving a person of his life.

b) Constitutional Validity of Capital Punishment

Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides Protection of Life and Personal Liberty to every people. And the deprivation of life of anyone is unconstitutional under Article 21. It is also said that No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law; it means, if there is a procedure than state can deprived a person from his life.

In many countries there has been accepted and death penalty has been abolished. In India, too there are many social workers including lawyers and Judges who have voiced this demand. Prominent amongst them are Bhagwati J. and Krishna Iyer J. both former judges of Supreme Court, Krishna Iyer J. Very recently while addressing a Human right organization strongly expressed himself in favour of the abolition of death penalty.

Justice A.K. Ganguly of the Supreme Court has termed the award of death sentence as “barbaric , anti-life, undemocratic and irresponsible” which is “legal” in the prevailing judicial system. The doctrine of the crime falling in the ‘rarest of rare’ category in awarding the death penalty was a “grey” area as its interpretation depended on individual judges. He cautioned that before giving death penalty, a judge must be “extremely careful” and weigh “mitigating and aggravating circumstances.”

So far as constitutionality is concerned it has to be considered in the light of the provision to take away the life of a person through a procedure established by law. This means that through there is a procedure establish by law, state can deprive a person of his life. Through judicial pronouncements, this procedure is interpreted to mean, a fair, just and reasonable one. Though the constitutional validity of the death punishment was challenged as violative of Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India, because it didn’t provide any procedure to the Court upheld the validity of death sentence. Since the procedure by which the life is taken is fair, just and reasonable. The judge are given ample power to exercise their discretion to award death penalty as against imprisonment for life.

the question of constitutional validity of death penalty has been raised before the Supreme Court of India more than once. In case of Jagmohan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, the constitutional validity of death penalty was upheld by the Supreme Court by a unanimous decision of the five judges composing the Bench.

In case of Rajender Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Krishna Iyer J. said that death penalty directly affects the life of the people guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. But it has been provided by law and there is nothing like due law in Article 21. Therefore, it is valid. He further said that to impose death penalty the two things must be required:

· The special reasons should be recorded for imposing death penalty in a case.
· The death penalty must be imposed only in extraordinary circumstances.

The question was again considered by a five judges bench in case of Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab, particularly in view of certain observations of Krishna Iyer J. In Bachan Singh case judges considered the social, ethical and even spiritual aspect of death penalty while upholding the constitutional validity thereof.

It is to be noted that, After the award of the death sentence by a sessions (trial) court,the sentence must be confirmed by a High Court to make it final. Once confirmed, the condemned convict has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court. If this is not possible, or if the Supreme Court turns down the appeal or refuses to hear the petition, the condemned person can submit a ‘mercy petition’ to the President of India and the Governor of the State.

Power of President

The present day constitutional clemency powers of the President and Governors originate from the Government of India Act 1935 but, unlike the Governor-General, the President and Governors in independent India do not have any prerogative clemency powers.

Constitutional Power
Article 72(1) of the Constitution of India states:
The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence
(a) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial;
(b) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
(c) in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.

c) Capital Punishment Under Criminal Law

Section 365 (5) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898, prior to its amendment in 1955, required a court sentencing a person convicted of an offence punishable with death to a punishment other than death to state the reasons why it was not awarding death sentence. The amendment deleted this provision but there was no indication in either the Cr.P.C or the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) as to which cases called for life imprisonment and which the alternative – death penalty. The Law Commission of India in 1967 undertook a study of death penalty and submitted its 35th Report to the government. It justified its conclusion for retention of death penalty thus:

Having regard….to the conditions in India, to the variety of social upbringing of its inhabitants, to the disparity in the level of morality and education in the country, to the vastness of its area, to the diversity of its population and to the paramount need for maintaining law and order in the country at the present juncture, India cannot risk the experiment of abolition of capital punishment.

Capital Offences

Sections Under IPC and other laws

120B of IPC Being a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit a capital offense
121 of IPC Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India
132 of IPC Abetting a mutiny in the armed forces (if a mutiny occurs as a result), engaging in mutiny
194 of IPC Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure a conviction of a capital offense
302, 303 of IPC Murder
305 of IPC Abetting the suicide of a minor, mentally ill person, or intoxicated person
Part II Section 4 of Prevention of Sati Act Aiding or abetting an act of Sati
364A of IPC Kidnapping, in the course of which the victim was held for ransom or other coercive purposes.
31A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Drug trafficking in cases of repeat offenses
396 of IPC Banditry with murder - in cases where a group of five or more individuals commit banditry and one of them commits murder in the course of that crime, all members of the group are liable for the death penalty.
376A of IPC and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 Rape if the perpetrator inflicts injuries that result in the victim's death or incapacitation in a persistent vegetative state, or is a repeat offender.
Bombay Prohibition (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2009 In Gujarat only - Manufacture and sale of poisoned alcohol which results in death(s).


Execution of Death Sentence

The execution of death sentence in India is carried out by two modes, namely hanging by the neck till death and being executed by firing squad.

a) Hanging
The Code of Criminal Procedure (1898) called for the method of execution to be hanging. The same method was adopted in the Code of Criminal Procedure (1973). Section 354(5) of the above procedure reads as "When any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that the person be hanged by the neck till the person is dead."

b) Shooting
The Army Act and Air Force Act also provide for the execution of the death sentence. Section 34 of the Air Force Act, 1950 empowers the court martial to impose the death sentence for the offences mentioned in section 34(a) to (o) of The Air Force Act, 1950. Section 163 of the Act provides for the form of the sentence of death as:-

"In awarding a sentence of death, a court-martial shall, in its discretion, direct that the offender shall suffer death by being hanged by the neck until he be dead or shall suffer death by being shot to death".

This provides for the discretion of the Court Martial to either provide for the execution of the death sentence by hanging or by being shot to death. The Army Act, 1950, and the Navy Act, 1957 also provide for the similar provisions as in The Air Force Act, 1950.

Recent Rarest of Rare Cases of Capital Punishment

Dhananjoy Chatterjee v. State of West Bengal & ors. The appellant, Dhananjoy Chatterjee was found guilty of offences punishable under Section 376, 302 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code by judgment and was awarded death sentence by the session judge, confirmed by the High Court. A special leave petition was filed by the appellant. Leave was granted but the appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Sushil Murmu v. State of Jharkhand, A young child of 9 years was sacrificed before Goddess Kali by the appellant for his own prosperity is what the prosecution alleges. The Supreme Court awarded death penalty to the Accused.

State of U.P. v. Satish, Stressing that leniency in punishing grave crimes would have serious consequences the Supreme Court has awarded the death penalty to a mean for the rape and murder of a six year old girl.

Murder v. Capital Punishment

Murder and execution are morally equivalent because both of them kill people. But this does not make sense. If that were so, it could be logically said that wrongful confinement of an innocent person by a civilian and imprisonment of an offender by the state are morally equivalent, because they both confine a person. 'Murder' term is used for unlawful killings only and capital punishment by the judiciary is not unlawful. Moreover every type of killing even by civilians is not murder. Thus there is a fundamental legal difference between killing innocent people (homicide) and capital punishment for murder.

NCRB Statistics

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an Indian government agency, created in 1986, responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The NCRB has documented death penalties and executions in India since 1995, as part of its prison statistics. There are no collated figures available for executions before 1995.

According to the NCRB, 21 people have been executed in India since 1995. In the decade between 2001 and 2011, 1,455 convicts or an average of 132.27 convicts per year were given the death penalty. During the same period, sentences for 4,060 convicts were commuted from death penalty to life imprisonment. The NCRB does not clarify whether these figures refer to sentences passed by a trial court or those whose sentences have been upheld by a High Court or the Supreme Court, or those whose mercy petitions are pending or have been rejected.

Abolition of Capital Punishment

“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”--Mahatma Gandhi

United State View

The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights called a meeting in early July to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the General Assemblies vote in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty.. the Secretary – General, Ban Ki-moon_delivered some remarks in which he reminded listeners that more than 150 countries have either abolished capital punishment or restricted its application. Some 32 states retain the death penalty in case of drug-related crimes and last year only 20 countries actually conducted executions. In the United States, 17 states have done away with the death penalty.

The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights. It lies at the heart of international human right law. The taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process. Where the death penalty persists conditions for those awaiting execution are often horrifying, leading to aggravated suffering. Information concerning the application of the death penalty, including secret trials and executions, is often cloaked in secrecy. And it is beyond dispute that innocent people are still put to death.

The United Nations system has long advocated abolition of the death penalty. Yet the death penalty is still used for a wide range of crimes that do not meet that threshold.

Why the Capital Punishment should be abolished

Capital punishment is the punishment of death which is generally awarded to those guilty of heinous crimes, particularly murder and child rape. In Indian the traditional way of awarding this punishment is “handing by the neck” till the death of the criminal. In other countries, shooting, electric chair, etc…,are the various devices used for the purpose.

Though the awarding of capital punishment, specially for murder, is according to age-old, tradition, in recent times there has been much hue and cry against it. It has been said that capital punishment is brutal, that it is according to the law of jungle – “an eye for an eye”, and tooth for a tooth”. It is pointed out that there can be no more place for it in a civilized country. Moreover, judges are not infallible and there are instances where innocent people have been sent to the gallows owing to some error of judgment.

Capital punishment is nothing but judicial murder, it is said, specially when an innocent life is destroyed. Besides this, capital punishment, as is generally supposed, is not deterrent. Murders and other heinous crimes have continued unabated, inspite of it. The result of such views has been that in recent years there has been an increasing tendency in western countries to award life imprisonment instead of capital punishment. Muslims countries, generally speaking, continue to be more serve in this respect.

Despite frequent demands from all society Indian has not so far abolished capital punishment. But even in India there has been a decline in the frequency of such punishment. It is now awarded only in cases of hardened criminals and only when it is established that the murder was not the result of a momentary impulse, the result of serious provocation, but well-planned and cold-blooded. In such cases, it is felt that nothing less than capital punishment would meet the ends of justice, that it is just and proper that such pests of society are eliminated. Those who indulge in anti-social and sternest possible measures should be taken against them, specially when they are habitual offenders.

It is, therefore, in the fitness of things that India has not so far abolished capital punishment but used it more judiciously. Sociologist are of the view that capital punishment serves no useful purpose. A murderer deprives the family of the murdered person of its bread-winner. By sending the criminals to gallows, we in no way help or provide relief to the family of the murdered. Rather, we deprive another family of its bread-winner. The sociologists, therefore, suggest that the murderer should be sentenced for life to work and support the family of murdered person as well as his own. In this way, innocent women and children would be saved from much suffering, hunger and starvation. Moreover, such measures would provide the criminals with an opportunity to reform himself. He would be under strict watch and if his conduct is satisfactory, he may be allowed to return to society as a useful member of it.

There is much truth is such views, and they must be given due weightage before a decision is taken to abolish or retain capital punishment. But Capital punishment should be continue for those who commit rare of the rarest crimes such as child rape, group rape, terrorism and etc.

1. Capital Punishment acts as a deterrent. If the death sentence is removed, the feast that comes in the mind of people committing murder will be removed. “Do we want more of murders in our country or do we want less of them?”All sentence are awarded for security and protection of society, so that every individual may live in peace. Capital punishment is needed to ensure this security.

2. Elimination of the criminals. When the public peace is endangered by certain particularly dangerous forms of crime, death penalty is the only means of eliminating the offender.

3. Possibility of repeated murders. Society must be protected from the risk of a second offences by a criminal who is not executed and who may be released, after release may commit murder again.

Death as a penalty has plagued human mind perennially. Death sentence must fulfill the conditions for protection of human rights in Criminal Justice Administration in India.

Execution of Dhananjay Chatterjee in 2004, after fourteen years in death cell and thereafter in the year 2006 Md. Afzal’s instance of capital punishment again gave new impetus to the debate between abolitionists and retentionists concerning speedy justice, fair trial, protection of human rights of the persons under death sentence, their human dignity as well as the victimological perspective to maintain law and order in society.

In the words of P.N. Bhagwati, J. in Bachan Singh v. state of Punjab “the judges have been awarding death penalty according to their own scale of values and social philosophy and it is not possible to discern any consistent approach to the problem in the judicial decisions”. Therefore, whether the sentence will be for death or for life imprisonment depends, in a large measure, on the court or composition of bench of the court. We have seen earlier about execution and commutation of death sentences into life imprisonment, there are several judgments which show that there are no fix principles to determine delay and other factors in the similar cases. Even in Dhananjay Chatterjee’s case there was fourteen years’ delay in execution of death sentence but it was not commuted to life imprisonment although in some earlier cases two years, two and half years, three years and nine years delay in execution was treated as violation of human rights and fair procedure and their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. Is this not a violation of articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution which enshrine fundamental and sacrosanct rights of human beings?
# Kronenwetter 2001, p. 202
# https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment
# "Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan: End Juvenile Death Penalty | Human Rights Watch". Hrw.org. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
# Ibid
# "Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union" (PDF). Retrieved 23 August2010.
# http://www.worldcoalition.org/united-nations-resolution-moratorium-death-penalty-executions-general-assembly.html
# Supranote 2
# http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-i-history-death-penalty#intro
# "Society's Final Solution: A History and Discussion of the Death Penalty," L. Randa, editor, University Press of America, 1997
# R. Bohm, "Deathquest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States," Anderson Publishing, 1999. See also, W. Schabas "The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law," Cambridge University Press, second edition, 1997.
# R. Bohm, "Deathquest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States," Anderson Publishing, 1999.
# Supra note 9
# Supranote 11
# Ibid
# Supranote 10
# Supranote 8
# Majumder, Sanjoy. "India and the death penalty." BBC News 4 August 2005.
# Mithu vs State of Punjab, (1983) 2 SCC 277
# VENKATESAN, V. (7 September 2012). "A case against the death penalty"
# https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_India see also, "'Number of executions much higher than 52.'" Times of India. 10 March 2005.
# "General Assembly GA/10678 Sixty-second General Assembly Plenary 76th & 77th Meetings". ANNEX VI. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
# "General Assembly GA/11331 , Sixty-seventh General Assembly Plenary 60th Meeting". 20 December 2012. ANNEX XIII. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
# Article 21 of the constitution of India, 1949; “Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”
# Mithu vs State of Punjab, (1983) 2 SCC 277; A.I.R. 1983 SC 47
# Mithu v. State of Punjab. A.I.R. 1983 SC 47
# http://articles.timesof india.indiatimes.com/2011-11-15/india/30401179_1_death-penalty-sc-judge-the-rerest-of-rare-category
# Jagmohan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, A.I.R. 1973 SC 947
# Rajender Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, A.I.R. 1979 SC 916
# Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab, A.I.R 1980 SC 898
# "Supreme Court Judgement, Devender Pal Singh Bhullar versus State of N.C.T. of Delhi". pp. 43–46.
# 35th Report of the Law Commission of India, p 354.
# "Consultation paper on mode of execution of death sentence and incidental matters" (PDF). Law commission of India.
# Dhananjoy Chatterjee v. State of West Bengal & ors, (2004) 9 SCC 759
# Sushil Murmu v. State of Jharkhand, A.I.R. 2004 SC 394
# State of U.P. v. Satish, Appeal (Cri.) 256 – 357 of 2005.
# The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 300 Exception 1 & Section 299
# Ibid Section 77
# Id Chapter IV (General Exception) and Section 299
# http://www.publishyourarticles.net/knowledge-hub/essay/should-capital-punishment-be-abolished-essay/1601/
# By Late Shri Govind Ballabh Pant, Minister of Home Affairs, Rajya Sabha Debate, 25th April 1958.
# Late Shri Datar, Minister of State in the Ministry Home affairs, Rajya Sabha Debate, 25th April, 1958.
# U.N. Publication, page 59, paragraph 216.
# Ceylon Report, summary of Argument, Page 40, under “Alternative Punishment”.
# Dhananjay Chatterjee v. State of West Bengal and Ors. (2004)9 SCC 751.
# AIR 1980 SC 898.
# Dhananjay Chatterjee v. State of West Bengal and Ors. (2004)9 SCC 751.


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