• Capital punishment is given when a person guilty of heinous crimes particularly that of rape
or murder is sentenced to death.
• In India, the guilty person is hanged till death.
• In developed countries, either they use electrical chair or shooting for the execution
• Judicial decree for punishment is called death sentence, while the actual process of killing the
person is an execution.
• Capital punishment is qualitatively different from other punishment as it is irreversible and if
an error is committed, there is no way to rectify the error.
• India retains the punishment despite the global move toward abolition of it.
RECENT EXECUTION OF DEATH
PENALTIES IN INDIA
• The execution of death sentence in India is carried out either by hanging until death or
being shot to death.
• Afzal Guru was convicted of conspiracy in 2001 Indian Parliament attack and was
sentenced to death. He was hanged to death on February 9, 2013 at Delhi's Tihar Jail.
• On 3 May 2010, a Mumbai Special Court convicted Mohammad Ajmal Kasab of
murder, waging war on India, possessing explosives, and other charges. Kasab has been
sentenced to death for attacking Mumbai and killing 166 people on 26 November
2008 along with nine Pakistani terrorists. On 21 November 2012, Kasab was hanged in
the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. The events of his hanging were shrouded in secrecy.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
In colonial India, death was prescribed as one of the punishments in
the Indian Penal Code,1860 (IPC) and the same was retained after
Section Under IPC
Nature of Crime
Punishment of criminal conspiracy
Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting
waging of war, against the Government of India
Abetment of mutiny
If an innocent person be convicted and executed in
consequence of such false evidence to procure
conviction of capital offence
Abetment of suicide of child or insane person
Kidnapping for ransom
Dacoity with murder .If any one of five or more
persons, who are conjointly committing dacoity,
commits murder in so committing dacoity,
every one of those persons shall be punished
OPINIONS IN SUPPORT OF CAPITAL
• Dating back to the earliest civilizations of the world like Mesopotamia and Indus
Valley civilization, we have seen that the informal judicial system had established
many stern laws to punish the guilty. This provided a clear message to all, that
anyone interfering with the rights of the people would be dealt with seriously.
• Another alternative to capital punishment is that of life imprisonment which is
14 years is in India.
• Serving out capital punishment also helps in spreading fear in the minds of the
people. They will hesitate and restrain from committing crime and infiltrating on
the rights of the people. Having a country that serves out capital punishment
definitely brings about faith in the judicial system of a nation.
OPINIONS AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
• When India was formed and Law was introduced to the land, punishments were
dealt out to kill the criminal in the person not the person. We seem to have
forgotten what the motto of the judiciary system of India says: “Whence
Dharma, Thence Victory”, which roughly translates to restoring order to the
society and not eradicating the very person.
• One must deal with the crime and eradicate it from the criminal. Today
technology is leaping in bounds and chains hence why should our judicial
system be still plagued with age old practices.
• Every individual alive has the right to live and only the giver has the right to
take it away, hence no mere immortal shall possess such godly power. We
should evolve with time and our practices should change with time.
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN WORLD
• Capital punishment has been used in almost every part of the world, but in the last few
decades many countries have abolished it. Usage of capital punishment is usually broken
into the four categories set out below. Of the 195 independent states that are UN members
or have UN observer status:
• 100 (51%) have abolished it.
• 7 (4%) retain it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
• (25%) permit its use for ordinary crimes, but have not used it for at least 10 years and are
believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions, or it is under
• 40 (20%) maintain the death penalty in both law and practice. These countries make up
approximately 66% of the world's population in 2012.
Why kill the killers when it helps none
and nothing, seems to be the belief.
To them, capital punishment is a
barbarous measure of no avail that
has its place in the annals of history
and not in modern statute books
In June 2004, President Dr. A.P.J.
Abdul Kalam suggested that
Parliament should consider the
abolition of death sentence
• Capital punishment has been a matter of debate for long now, and across the
world public opinion is, by and large, in favor of abolishing it, as it is
increasingly seen as a barbaric measure to check crime.
• Modern abolitionist jurists are of the view that if killing is wrong, no amount
of legal or social sanction can make it right.
• If it is wrong for a man to kill another man, so it is even for the State to do.
Besides, citing statistics, they argue that capital punishment has had no
visible effect as a deterrent and has utterly failed to bring in a dip in the
number of murders, which, according to them, makes capital punishment
“Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart. The lord gave and
the lord has taken away; may the name of
the lord be praised”