Amid the possibility of imminent executions of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case, a summons petition was filed in the Supreme Court by an 88-year-old freedom fighter challenging the constitutional validity of the death penalty by hanging by The motion filed by S Paremeswaran Nampoothiri challenges article 354 (5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which stipulates when …

Amid the possibility of imminent executions of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case, a summons petition was filed in the Supreme Court by an 88-year-old freedom fighter challenging the constitutional validity of the death penalty by hanging dead.

The petition filed by S Paremeswaran Nampoothiri challenges Article 354 (5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states that when a person is sentenced to death, the penalty should order that he be hanged by the neck until his death. .

According to the octogenarian of Kerala, the provision conflicts with the basic structure and characteristics of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner, who calls this punishment a “colonial hangover”, asks

“If compliance with Article 354 (5) of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure is possible, when a convicted person must serve a term of imprisonment for a given period before conviction which is also a prescribed penalty, and assuming that a convict is hanged by the neck “until” his death, even after that his body is hanged, resulting in disrespect for the body and punishment beyond the scope and scope of Article 354 (5) of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure. “

The petitioner asks, without defining the term “death” in the constitution, especially when there are various forms of death, whether the sentence provided for in article 354 (5) of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure can be carried out.

He further asks:

“If the person hanging the convict is performing a government duty or kills a person?” . Can the state give one person the power to administer death to another person in the line of duty? . Does the state have the power to give such authority and if so what is the particular provision that gives the power to administer death to a person more particularly when “the right to life” is above? constitution and that every “me” is part of “US” and that the state is prohibited by killing a person under what circumstances? “

The petition filed through attorney Wills Mathew also contains arguments against the death penalty. It is argued that the death penalty has no deterrent effect and that the state has no ethical right to take human life, although it cannot give life.

“At a time when it is scientifically proven that a person’s DNA profile matters a lot to becoming a saint or a criminal, that a person can be killed for reasons beyond their control,” asks the petitioner.

The petitioner also argues that if the death penalty is “30 seconds of pain” for the convict, it inflicts lifelong suffering on his relatives. According to the petitioner, this thus gave the convict an “easy escape route” to leave his body for the next world, where a compassionate and merciful God can even tolerate his cruelty. According to the petitioner, this means that the death penalty is a lesser form of punishment.

The petition therefore seeks to repeal section 354 (5) as ultra vires the Constitution.

The constitutional validity of the death penalty was confirmed by the five Supreme Court justices in Jagmohan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh AIR 1973, SC 947.


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