Report No. 35
Topic Number 59
Other points made in the replies to Questionnaire
1154. General suggestions made in the replies.-
Besides replies to the specific questions in the Questionnaire, some of the replies express views on other matters arising in connection with capital punishment.
Thus, one suggestion is that of a State Law Commission1 to the effect that the question of restitution to the victims of crime should receive attention along with that of abolition. The restitution, it is suggested, may be from the property of the accused, or from the State funds. This question, however, does not seem to be vitally connected with the abolition or retention of capital punishment as such. Whether or not capital punishment is retained, a provision for such restitution can be considered independently. The question is not confined to capital offenders; the commission of a crime may cause damage justifying restitution, even where the crime is not a capital one. Certain provisions for restitution are contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 18982. The matter is one of policy, not arising out of abolition.
1. A State Law Commission, S. No. 101.
2. Section 545, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1896.
1156. A suggestion1 for rehabilitation of the families of criminals condemned to death has been received. It is stated that this is essential, lest a murderer's children should themselves become delinquents.
1. Opinion of a medical man, quoted in the "Hindustan Times" dated the 3rd April, 1963, S. No. 29.
1157. The question1 of engagement of counsel to help the court in criminal cases has been raised. This is a matter which is usually dealt with the rules made for criminal courts. We have dealt with the matter separately2.
1. A Pleader (Legal aid and advice service), Madras, S. No. 105.
2. See paras. 1166-1175, infra.
1158. A suggestion has been made1 that, on conviction for murder, the property of the person convicted should vest in the Collector, and should be disposed of in favour of the heirs of the person murdered. It is stated that this will act as a great deterrent. Present provisions for fine are, it is stated, not adequate, because a fine is not imposed when the sentence of death or imprisonment of life is awarded. In this connection, it may be noted that sections 61 and 62 of the Indian Penal Code contained limited provisions for forfeiture, but these were repealed by Act 16 of 1921.
1. A District and Sessions Judge in Gujarat, S. No. 212.