By Kanu Sarda Published: 22nd September 2014 06:04 AM Last Updated: 22nd September 2014 06:04 AM
NEW DELHI: At a time when the Supreme Court has commuted the death penalty of as many as 15 convicts into life imprisonment citing delay in deciding its mercy petitions, the Law Commission has so far received over 400 responses demanding abolition of death penalty. Besides seeking public opinion, the Law Commission’s research will use data from various courts, prison authorities and even law school researchers to compile. The commission is reassessing the law on the death penalty.
This is the second time since Independence that a commission is studying capital punishment. The first time the death penalty was studied was in 1967, when the commission’s report concluded that given the diversity of India’s population and the need to maintain law and order, at the present juncture, India cannot risk the experiment of the abolition of capital punishment. India is one of the 59 nations that retain the death penalty and has used only in rarest of rare cases.
Under the IPC, crimes that are punishable with a death sentence include treason, abetment of mutiny, perjury resulting in the conviction and death of an innocent person, murder, kidnapping for ransom and dacoity with murder. The draft report is being prepared under the Chairmanship of former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A P Shah. “We are studying the over 400 responses received so far from people and is preparing a draft report to the same soon. So far there is a consensus amongst people is that they want to abolish the existing death penalty,” Shah said.
The SC has commuted the death penalty of 15 convicts citing a UN resolution of 2007 which states that inordinate delay in hearing mercy pleas is a clear violation of their fundamental rights.
Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Law-Panel-Gets-400-Responses-to-Ban-Death-Penalty/2014/09/22/article2443311.ece [last accessed 06.02.2015]