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Divergence on death penalty: The legislative expansion and judicial restriction of capital punishment in India

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12.02.2019

By Maitreyi Misra and Ruchi Chaudhury

The recently published statistics on the state of death penalty in 2018 is an indication of the confusion that besets use of death penalty in India. Drastically different treatment by the legislature, trial courts and the appellate judiciary further intensifies competing tensions in administration of the death penalty.

Calls for death penalty began early on in the year in the backdrop of incidents in Kathua and Unnao. 2018 also saw the prime minister encouraging the death penalty in his Independence Day speech and amendments to IPC and Pocso introducing the death penalty for rape of children.

As far as its judicial treatment is concerned, trial courts in 2018 imposed a record number of 162 death sentences – the highest in nearly two decades. The Supreme Court, on the other extreme, commuted 11 out of the 12 death sentence cases it decided and continued to signal concerns with administration of the death penalty by courts........

© The Times of India