"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Indian law panel's 'Death Penalty' report sent to Home Ministry, govt unlikely to support it

The Law Commission's report supporting abolition of death penalty except in terror-related cases has been forwarded to the Home Ministry for a final decision, amid indications that government may not be inclined to support it.

The report 'Death Penalty' was submitted to the Law Ministry by the Law Commission on August 31.

"Recently, we have forwarded it to the Home Ministry as changes in the Indian Penal Code is its domain," a senior Law Ministry functionary said here.

He said while a final call on the subject will be taken by the Home Ministry, it can refer the report back to the Law Ministry for any clarifications it may require.

2 government appointees in the law panel -- ex-officio members P K Malhotra (Law Secretary) and Sanjay Singh (Legislative Secretary) had given their dissent on the report.

Besides them, Justice (retd) Usha Mehra, a permanent member of the panel too had opposed the report.

Sources in the government said the Centre is unlikely to support abolition of death penalty as there is a feeling that time is not ripe to do away with capital punishment.

A copy of the report was also submitted to the Supreme Court by the Commission as the apex court had asked the panel to examine the issue.

In 1967, the Commission in its 35th report had supported continuation of death penalty.

Registering his dissent, Law Secretary Malhotra had said Parliament in its wisdom has prescribed death penalty only in heinous crimes. "The need of the hour is to retain it...We have a vibrant judiciary which is respected world-over. We should have faith in the wisdom of our judges that they will exercise this power only in deserving cases for which the law is well laid down in various judgments..."

Legislative Secretary Singh had maintained the panel should not recommend something which has the effect of preventing the state from making any law in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

The Commission had said there is a need to debate as to how to bring about the "abolition of death penalty in all respects in the very near future, soonest."

Source: Zee News, September 23, 2015

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