Darshan Hampannavar,2nd year Law Student,Karnataka State Law University’s Law School, Hubli
capital punishment, is also called as death sentence, is a type of punishment given to the criminals for committing the severe crimes and execution is nothing but the act of carrying out such process of death sentence. Capital crimes are often punishable with the death penalty.capital offences usually vary depending on the jurisdiction and includes the crimes of serious offence is like murder, mass murder, aggravated cases of rape, child rape,child sexual abuse,terrorism, treason, espionage,sedition and the offences which are made against the state like overthrowing or attempting to overthrow government, piracy, aircraft hijacking etc. the term ‘capital’ is decline derived from the Latin word known as “capitalis” from caput ‘head’.
capital punishment is almost practiced by nearly 56 countries and around 106 countries have been stopped the practice of capital punishment and some countries are on the way to abolish the said practice.
there are two broad category, which imposes the capital punishment or death penalty, they are:
1)Indian penal code,1860.
2) special laws for local legislations.
II) Analysis of the constitutional validity of death penalty:
As the punishment of death penalty or capital punishment has been mentioned under section 302 of IPC and its constitutional validity was challenged in the apex court for the first time in the case of Jagan Mohan Singh space v State of Uttar Pradesh and it was challenged that section 302 of IPC was violative of article 14, 19, 21 of the Indian constitution because it had not complied with the procedure to be followed and the involvement of CrPC was made only in order to find the guilt of the crime or offence and it was not much reliable or not much taken into consideration for imposing the death penalty.
supreme court also held that the discretion power therefore aliened on to the apex court to decide the punishment of whether to provide the life imprisonment or death penalty in the cases of severe crimes against humanity on the basis of facts, circumstances and various issues of the cases and depending upon the nature of crime brought on record on trial.
At another face, when we look that the court also held that neither section 302 of IPC nor section 354 (3) of the CrPC are violative in nature and does not intend to violate the prime article i.e article 21, it seems to be evident that the constitution framers were well known with the punishment of death penalty, which is applied for the rarest of rare cases and keeping that in mind, it seems to be prominent that even though article 21 has violated due to the death penalty but it can be justified, if the due process of this act is just, fair and reasonable.
III) arguments for and against death penalty (or) capital punishmet:
if we deeply analyse the pros and cons of the death penalty it always comes to our mind that this context is multidimensional and cannot be judged or finalized only by assuming a single aspect. So, we have to deeply analyse by taking into consideration of all aspects revolving around this context.
1)Death penalty acts as a strong repulsive force between the criminals and the crimes. When we apply death penalty for criminals for committing the crime, the death penalty acts as a repulsive force and such deadly punishment is the best tool to keep in control of such evils.
2) economically beneficiary to the government when compared to other punishment: always portents say that the capital punishment usually costs less than compared to other punishment and effective as well.
3) the capital punishment always strive hard to provide justice for the victim’s family. The result of death penalty will be the most satisfactory moment for the victim’s family which would provide the justice to them.
1) moral arguments: there are many opposing elements for the death penalty due to some moral or ethical belief.the people believe that no religion supports this type of act of taking the life of a person as a revenge of an incidental crime.
2) An act of cruelty and inhumane behaviour: always people comment it as an act of cruelty and inhumane behaviour and claiming it as barbarous act and the people always think that no one has any right to take the life of another person except the god alone and thus, it amounts to the violation of article 21.
3) it supports the discrimination and injustice to lower class or below poverty line: As some convicts do have money and power and they afford to prove them wrong will have a proper defence against them. There is a problem for the lower class or below poverty line convicts who lacks in having money and power. Thus, creates a discriminatory situation.
IV) Justice delayed is Justice denied:
the above statement is very popular due to the actual situation that exists in the process of law. to get justice, the victim have to wait for a very long time period almost it takes decades in some severe cases and thus, it creates some anxiety and affects the person psychologically, mentally, personally, emotionally and sometimes it feels that there lies no relationship between the law and Justice. In most of the cases, it ends up with delayed justice is denied justice
To conclude, it seems to be evident that, the capital punishment has to be given in only the rarest of rare cases. This situation has to be handled very meticulously.even sometimes it feels that capital punishment is violative in nature, but when we looked through the broader aspect of this present act then we could come into the conclusion that this is the best tool for an offender to teach the lesson of life and if this tool is not used then it may cause some very deadly effect on the crime rates and this has been experienced by many of the countries, which had completely abolished the capital punishment.
however, capital punishment is no doubt to be unconstitutional, but there is a need of a strong implementation of a proper procedures from the judiciary,before giving this type of punishment and thus, this effective tool is a perfect mechanism to strengthen the criminal justice system.