Report No. 35
B.-Retributive object criticised
188. Criticism of retribution.-
Capital punishment is cold-blooded murder. Crime cannot be replied by crime. Stealing or prosecution is not replied by stealing and prosecution in return. The basis of jurisprudence for retaining capital punishment-death for death-requires to be changed1.
The retributive aspect of capital punishment is not in conformity with modern theories. "It is theoretically primitive and it ignores social responsibility and disregards the possibility of reformation.2".
1. Shri Umanath, Lok Sabha Debates, 21st April, 1962, Col. 331.
2. Shri M.L. Agrawal, Lok Sabha Debates, 24th August, 1956.
189. Revenge is a very primitive and barbaric instinct. With intellectual renaissance and progress, such notions should disappear1.
1. Smt. Savitry Devi Nigam, Rajya Sabha Debates, 25th August, 1961, Col. 1683.
190. The old, ancient society was based upon violence, and the entire object of that society (to maintain its own existence) was to put an end to or minimise violence. It is because of this approach that when a person committed a murder, the relatives of the murdered person could take revenge, and if they did not do so, the society would take revenge. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and life for life-that was the ancient society. "Surely, in 1961 we have advanced far enough to know that that is not the principle that should govern society at all.". The more humane principle of trying to better the conditions of human being, so that they may not indulge in these crimes, should be followed1.
Revenge should not be part of any just punishment 2.
1. Diwan Chaman Lall, Rajya Sabha Debates, 25th August, 1961, Col. 1739 and 1740.
2. Canadian Report, p. 12, para. 38, stating the argument.