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Report No. 35

431. Black marketing.-

Several replies1-2-3 have suggested that black marketing should be punishable with death.

Other suggestions to make the offence of black marketing a capital one have also been received.-8

One suggestion9 is, that activities intended to corner the market or calculated to withhold effectively the supply of essential commodities to the society in times of national emergency with a view to earning profits should be punished with death.

1. A Bar Council, S. No. 116.

2. A Bar Council, S. No. 159.

3. A District Bar Association, S. No. 219.

4. A District Magistrate, S. No. 286.

5. A District and Sessions Judge, S. No. 358.

6. A District and Sessions Judge (Black marketing of extreme type) S. No. 362.

7. An Advocate S. No. 410.

8. S. Nos. 281, 294, 432.

9. A District and Sessions Judge in Maharashtra, S. No. 333.

432. Corruption.-

It has been suggested by some High Court Judges,1 that people placed in positions of responsibility who indulge in serious corruption against vital national interest should also receive the death sentence. A suggestion for punishing with death bribery and corruption has been made in other replies also2.

1. Two High Court Judges, S. No. 105.

2. A Bar Council, S. No. 116.

433. One reply1 suggests that offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, when committed in respect of amounts exceeding one lakh of rupees, should be made capital, and the amount also forfeited.

1. A District Bar Association, S. No. 218.

434. One of the Bar Councils1 is amongst those who would like the sentence of death to be imposed for corruption.

1. A Bar Council, S. No. 159.

435. Other suggestions to the effect that the offence of corruption should be punishable with death, are given in the foot-notes.1-6

1. A District Bar Association, S. Nos. 223.

2. An Advocate, S. No. 272.

3. A Zila Panchayat Officer, S. No. 281.

4. S. No. 295.

5. A District Bar Association, S. No. 323.

6. A Sessions Judge in Orissa, S. No. 429.

436. Espionage.-

Several replies1-2-3 have suggested that espionage should be punishable with death. In another reply4, it has been suggested that espionage regarding essential military secrets and espionage by police and security officers on behalf of foreign countries in relation to military secrets, should be made a capital offence. A State Government5 has suggested, that the death sentence should be prescribed for espionage against the security of the State.

1. A Bar Council, S. No. 132.

2. S. No. 127.

3. Supreme Court Bar Association, S. No. 110.

4. Chief Justice of a High Court and one Judge of the High Court agreeing with the Report of the Secretary, Rules Committee, S. No. 130.

5. A State Government, S. No. 182.

437. Espionage during grave emergency should according to another suggestion1, be made a capital offence. Espionage on an extensive scale, particularly when secrets for the nation's protection and safety are involved, should be made capital, according to another suggestion2.

1. Bar Association of India, S. No. 183.

2. S. No. 50.

438. A High Court Judge1 has expressed his views regarding espionage in these words:-

'One batch of offences is connected with espionage, sabotage, particularly of transport system, military equipment and installations. In a way, these can even now be brought by some logic under the description "waging war with the Government or abetting or preparing for such war". But, for clarification, these should be separately enacted as offences calling for capital punishment. Ours is probably the only country in the present world which allows these offences to go on ruining the country's morale and exposing it to invasion by hostile neighbours, and letting off the offender with ridiculously lenient sentence of imprisonment.'

1. (A High Court Judge) S. No. 251.

439. Other suggestions to make the offence of espionage a capital one are given in the foot-notes.1-5

1. Members of State Legislature, S. No. 243, 244.

2. District Bar Associations, Nos. 231, 239-411.

3. Inspector-General of Police of a State, S. No. 263.

4. A Judicial Officers' Association, S. No. 374.

5. S. Nos. 294, 365, 414.

440. Kidnapping.-

Several suggestions have been made regarding the offence of kidnapping. One suggestion is to the effect1-2 that-(i) the offence of kidnapping together with crippling, maiming or mutilating of the minor should be punishable with death, as this type of offence is on the increase and minors are mutilated in order to earn by begging for the benefit of kidnapper, and

(ii) kidnapping together with the offence of rape or sodomy against the minor under the age of 10 should be a capital offence, as capital punishment in such cases would act as a deterrent.

Another reply3 also suggests that child-lifting should be punishable with death.

1. Indian Federation of Women Lawyers, Bombay, S. No. 121.

2. An Advocate of High Court, S. No. 92.

3. A Bar Council, S. No. 116.

441. Another reply1 suggests death sentence for kidnapping of a child under 5 years. One of the replies2 suggests death sentence for all heinous crimes in respect of women and children.

1. Bharat Sevak Samaj, New Delhi, S. No. 145.

2. An Inspector-General of Prisons, S. No. 160.

442. Other suggestions to punish with death the offence of kidnapping have also been received, being suggestions to punish with death-

(i) child lifting in the most atrocious manner1;

(ii) forcible abduction of a girl or women and rape, which results in death2;

(iii) kidnapping of children with a view to blackmail and extorting money from their parents or guardians or wreck vengeance upon their parents or elders.3

1. A Lawyers' Association in Assam, S. No. 227.

2. A District Bar Association in Madras, S. No. 239.

3. A very senior Advocate of the Bombay High Court, S. No. 318.

443. It should be noted here, that a proposal to increase the punishment for the offence of kidnapping, made by a State Government, has been received through the Ministry of Home Affairs1; but the proposal does not contemplate the imposition of the death penalty. It suggests a penalty of imprisonment for life and fine, for kidnapping for ransom. It is, therefore, outside the scope of the present report, and is noted here only to make the discussion comprehensive.

1. Suggestion of a State Government received through the Home Ministry, S. No. 569.

444. (The State Government has drawn attention to the increase in the incidence of kidnapping for ransom during the years 1956 to 1964, in the State, and has stated, that dacoits have now taken to kidnapping on a large scale, as this is less risky, the punishment being only 7 years' imprisonment).

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