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Report No. 35

387. Section 132-Abetment of mutiny by a member of the armed forces.-

Abolition of the death sentence for the offence of abetment of mutiny by a member of the armed forces has been suggested in certain replies.1-5 A few other suggestions are to the effect that the offence under section 132, Indian Penal Code should be removed from the list of capital offences6.

1. S. No. 138.

2. An Inspector General of Police, S. No. 131.

3. A Reader in Criminal Law, S. No. 107.

4. S. No. 145.

5. A Pleader, Saharanpur, S. No. 151.

6. S. Nos. 279, 358, 410, 412.

388. Section 194-second paragraph-False evidence leading to execution of innocent persons.-

Abolition of the death sentence for the offence of giving false evidence leading to execution of innocent persons has been suggested in certain replies1-2.

Several other replies have, impliedly or expressly suggested the deletion of the offences under section 194, second paragraph, Indian Penal Code, from the list of capital offences3. One reply4 states, that the giving of false evidence under section 194 may be due to police pressure, and therefore the offence should not be punished with death.

1. A Bar Council, S. No. 132 (impliedly).

2. An Inspector-General of Prisons, S. No. 143.

3. A Member of a State Legislature, S. No. 226; a High Court Judge, S. No. 230; a City Civil Court Judge, S. No. 373; District and Sessions Judges, S. No. 384, 386 and 440.

4. A District and Sessions Judge in Madhya Pradesh, S. No. 375.

389. Section 302-Murder.-

Abolition of death sentence for the offence of murder has been suggested in certain replies. In view of the importance of this offence, it would not be out of place to discuss and analyse the replies on this point somewhat in detail.

390. In one reply, the suggestion made is that as regards murder, the sentence of death should be retained only where the act is done with the intention of causing death, and even here, it should be murder premeditated, or murder of more than one person or murder by fire arms or poisoning1. This and similar suggestions can be considered under another question2.

1. A Bar Council of Kerala (S. No. 132), under Questions 5 and 6(b).

2. Questions 5 and 6(b).

391. Section 303-Murder by a life convict.-

It has been suggested in some replies that death sentence should not be mandatory for the offence under section 303 of Indian Penal Code.

Some High Court Judges have suggested that in the case of an offence under section 303, Indian Penal Code, the death sentence should not be mandatory, and the alternative of imprisonment for life should be provided1-2. This is the view of some Sessions Judges also3.

One reply4 states, that there is no reason why a life convict should be subject to a higher penalty than others.

1. Chief Justice of a High Court, S. No. 393.

2. A High Court Judge, S. No. 230.

3. A District and Sessions Judge, S. No. 383; under Question 4, S. No. 121.

4. A District and Sessions Judge, S. No 375.

392. Section 305-Abetment of suicide by child or insane person.-

Abolition of the death sentence for the offence of abetment of suicide by child or insane person (section 305, Indian Penal Code) has been suggested.

Abolition of the death sentence for this offence1 has been suggested by one High Court2.

Its abolition for this offence is also suggested by one Bar Council3, one Inspector General of Police4, one Inspector General of Prisons5, and others6-7. A retired High Court Judge8 has suggested, that the death sentence may be retained, except perhaps under sections 305 and 307, Indian Penal Code. The death sentence for this offence has been criticised as too "severe" in another reply9.

Several other replies10 have suggested that capital punishment should be abolished for the offences under section 305, Indian Penal Code.

The reply of a District and Sessions Judge in the State of Madhya Pradesh11 states that capital punishment should be removed for the offences under section 385. The reply also states, that it is true that suicide under section 305, is committed by a child or insane person, but there is no justification to place the offence under this section on a different footing than the offence under section 306.

1. Section 305, Indian Penal Code.

2. A High Court, S. No. 187, in reply to Question 3(a).

3. A Bar Council, S. No. 132. (impliedly).

4. An Inspector-General of Police, S. No. 131.

5. An Inspector-General of Prisons, S. No. 166.

6. A Reader in Criminal Law, S. No. 107.

7. A Mercantile Association, S. No. 153.

8. A Retired judge of the Bombay High Court, S. No. 95.

9. A member of the Bar Council of Madras, S. No. 104(a).

10. A High Court Judge, S. No. 230; Members of State Legislatures S. No. 237 and 257; A State Government, S. No. 242; Law Minister of a State who has suggested his own scheme, S. No. 253; an Advocate in West Bengal, S. No. 404; a District and Sessions Judge in Orissa, S. No. 433; District and Sessions Judges in Kerala, S. No. 438 and 364; a Collector and District Magistrate, S. No. 332; A District and Sessions Judge, S. No. 548.

11. S. No. 371.

393. Section 307-Attempt to murder by life convict.-

Abolition of the death sentence for the offence of attempt to murder by a life convict has been suggested in certain replies.1-2-3

A retired High Court Judge has suggested4 that the death sentence may be retained, except perhaps under sections 305 and 307.

Several replies have suggested that the offence under section 307, Indian Penal Code, should not be capital one.5

The reply of a District and Sessions Judge in the State of Madhya Pradesh6 states, that there is no reason why a person undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life should be punished with death, if in committing the offence of attempt to murder, he causes some hurt.

The reply of a District and Sessions Judge7 states, that in respect of sections 303 and 307, Indian Penal Code, there is no reason why a life convict should be subject to a higher penalty than others.

1. A Bar Council, S. No. 132 (impliedly).

2. An Inspector-General of Police, S. No. 131(a).

3. A Pleader, Saharanpur, S. No. 151.

4. A Retired Judge of the Bombay High Court, S. No. 95.

5. High Court Judges, S. Nos. 230, 262; a District Bar Association in West Bengal, S. No. 234; a Member of a State Legislature, (impliedly), S No. 237; a Bar Association in the State of Madras; S. No. 239; a Member of State Legislative Council, S. No. 257; a District and Sessions Judge in the State of Maharashtra, (impliedly), S. No. 358; a District and Sessions Judge in the State of Kerala (impliedly), S. No. 364.

6. A District and Sessions Judge, Madhya Pradesh, S. No. 371.

7. A District and Sessions Judge in Madhya Pradesh, S. No. 375.

394. Section 396-Dacoity with murder.-

Abolition of the death sentence for the offence of dacoity with murder has not been suggested specifically. One suggestion1 relating to section 396 states that only the dacoit who actually commits the murder should be punished with death, and not the other dacoits.

A High Court Judge2 would like to retain the death sentence only for murder, and that too murder for gain and pre-meditated murders. On the other hand, however, many of the replies which otherwise are in favour of partial abolition have favoured the retention of capital punishment for the offence under section 396.3

1. A District Bar Association in West Bengal, S. No. 234.

2. S. No. 262.

3. S. Nos. 358, 360, 367, 370, 373, 421, 425, 431 and 433.



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