Report No. 35
141. Proportionate to crime.-
Punishment should bear a just proportion to the crime. Therefore, capital punishment is the only fit punishment for those who have deliberately violated the sanctity of human life1.
1. Ceylon Report, Summary of Arguments, p. 39 under " Life for a Life".
142. If a cold-blooded murder is committed, there is no other way by which society can be recompensed than by taking a life for a life. Cruel murders and mutilation of children still go on; and it is not yet time to do away with capital punishment1.
1. Shri Violet Alva, Rajya Sabha Debates, 8th September, (1961), Col. 3822.
143. Avoidance of lynching.-
Execution avoids certain popular reactions, which must be expected in cases of heinous crimes if an overexcited public opinion were not aware that the criminal can be sentenced to death1.
When a murderer is placed before the court and he is either not convicted (because of want of evidence) or is given a lighter sentence, and the persons aggrieved think that they have not got justice according to their desire, they take the law into their own hands2.
1. U.N. Publication, (1962), p. 60, para. 220.
2. Late Shri Datar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Lok Sabha Debates, 21st April, 1962, Col. 363.
Death penalty is the only just punishment for the gravest of crimes, or the only one capable of effacing an unpardonable crime1.
1. U.N. Publication, p. 59, para. 216.
145. Death sentence more humane.-
Capital punishment in a painless and humane form is less cruel than imprisonment for life.
46. No miscarriage of justice.-
If there is miscarriage of justice in one or two cases, the higher courts can be approached. The whole machinery of the Government would be there to protect the life of a person who is really innocent. We should not be misguided by a single instance of erroneous conviction, especially when the Supreme Court is there looking very carefully into all such cases1.
1. Late Shri Datar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Lok Sabha Debates, 21st April, 1962, Cols. 361, bottom and 362.
147. Discretion of court.-
In India, formerly, in capital cases, a lesser sentence could not be imposed except for special grounds. The Judge was thus expected to justify the lesser sentence, but this has now been amended1. Hence the matter is completely in the discretion of the Judge.
Formerly, it was provided that whenever an accused person was convicted of murder, capital punishment was the rule; that provision has now been taken away, and it is now open to the judge to give the reduced punishment even without giving reasons2.
1. Late Shri Govind Ballabh Pant, Minister of Home Affairs, Rajya Sabha Debates, 25th April, 1958, Col. 460.
2. Late Shri Datar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Lok Sabha Debates, 21st April, 1962, Col. 357.
148. No substitute.-
It is impossible to replace the death penalty by any effective substitute. Imprisonment even for life is inadequate, particularly because of the practice of earlier release1.
There is no satisfactory alternative to capital punishment2.
1. U. N. Publication, p. 60, para. 219.
2. Ceylon Report, Summary of Arguments, p. 40, under "Alternative Punishment".
149. The majority of murders in India are committed by poorer and backward classes. Prison conditions are often better than conditions prevailing in their homes; and for such person, death is the only deterrent1.
1. Cf. Ceylon Report, Summary of Arguments, p. 41, under "Present Social Circumstances of Ceylon ".
150. Time not yet ripe.-
Even if the principle of abolition is accepted, the time is not yet ripe in India. Present day society is not ripe for this reform, and the community has not reached such a stage1.
1. Smt. Violet Alva, Rajya Sabha Debates, 8th September, 1961, Col. 3827.
151. Burden on Abolitionist.-
Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment must prove their case before any change carrying risk to the lives of innocent people is introduced1.
1. Ceylon Report, Summary of Arguments, p. 41, under "Present Social Circumstances of Ceylon ".