Ever since the enactment of the Indian Constitution in 1950, public awareness of problems with death penalty and prevailing legal standards have evolved significantly. India is said to be one of the most liberal and open countries in the world and our constitution is a testimony to this very fact.
In dozens of countries, democratic governments in the course of conducting a major review of their national constitutions have decided to curtail, if not abolish, the death penalty. In national systems and as a matter of international law, it is increasingly recognised that the death penalty has no place in a democratic and civilised society. India is sovereign, secular, and democratic. And yet, it is astonishing that India is one of the few, to be exact, 54 countries in the world, which still embraces the concept of capital punishment
Provisions in the IPC
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides for capital punishment for the following offences, or for criminal conspiracy to commit any of the following offences (Section 120-B):
1. Murder (s.302) and murder committed by a life convict (s. 303).(Though the latter was struck down by the Supreme Court, it still remains in the IPC)
2. Abetment of a suicide by a minor, insane person or intoxicated person (s.305)
3. Threatening or inducing any person to give false evidence resulting in the conviction and death of an innocent person (s.195A)
4. Perjury resulting in the conviction and death of an innocent person (s.194)
5. Treason, for waging war against the Government of India (s.121)
6. Abetment of mutiny actually committed (s.132)
7. Attempted murder by a serving life convict (s.307(2))
8. Kidnapping for ransom (s.364A)
9. Dacoity [armed robbery or banditry] with murder (s.396)
Death penalty is also provided under the following special and local laws:
1. Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 (as amended in 2004)
2. Defence and Internal Security of India Act 1971
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