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Report No. 35

445. Homicide by negligence.-

It has been suggested, that the offence under section 304A, Indian Penal Code, should be made punishable with death1.

1. A District Bar Association, S. No. 125.

446. A more specific suggestion regarding section 304A, Indian Penal Code has been made by a retired High Court Judge.1 The suggestion is to the effect, that there should be death penalty (with imprisonment for life as an alternative and a heavy fine in certain types of serious accidents resulting in death where the driving is callous, grossly negligent and in utter disregard of human life and safety, and that a suitable amendment in section 304A, Indian Penal Code, may be made. The suggestion is intended to include Railway and other accidents. It has been suggested, that under section 304A, Indian Penal Code, when the "gross negligence" of the driver is proved, the sentence of death must be provided for2.

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

2. A Member of Parliament under question 3(b), S. No. 224.

447. Rape.-

Some replies have suggested that rape should be made a capital offence1-2. One suggestion is that it should be punishable with death if resulting in serious injury to or death of the victim3.

1. A Retired District Session Judge and formerly Law Secretary to a State Government, S. No. 139.

2. S. No. 138.

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

448. It has been suggested1, that for "murder of a woman after having committed rape and murder of children after criminal assault on them", the death sentence should be mandatory.

1. A State Government, reply to question 3(b) read with reply to questions 4 and 6 (b), S. No 580.

449. A High Court Judge has suggested that rape should be made a capital offence1.

Suggestions to punish with death the offence of rape have been received in respect of-

(a) rape of girl under 13 years2;

(b) gang rape3;

(c) rape generally4-6.

1. A High Court Judge, S. No. 262.

2. Reply of a Member of Parliament, S. No. 224.

3. For gang rape, S. Nos. 402 and 406.

4. A District Bar Association, S. No. 223.

5. A District and Sessions Judge in Rajasthan, S. No. 336.

6. S. No. 278.

450. Sabotage.-

Suggestions to make sabotage a capital offence have been made in several replies. One suggestion1 is to the effect, that acts of sabotage of trains, bridges and similar installations or undertakings involving death of a large number of persons causing widespread alarm and panic in society and causing a sense of insecurity and loss of confidence in the basic Governmental undertakings, should be punishable with death.

Sabotage of public utility services leading to loss of life or property, it has been suggested, should be punishable with death2.

1. Chief Justice of a High Court and a Judge of the High Court agreeing with Report of Secretary Rule Committee, S. No. 143.

2. A State Government, S. No. 580.

451. A High Court Judge1 has stated that there are several other offences which should be punishable with death. "One batch of offences are connected with sabotage, particularly of transport system, military equipment and installation.

1. A High Court Judge, S. No. 251.

452. Other replies for making sabotage a capital offence have also been received.1-2-3

1. A State Government. "Cases of sabotage in which people lose their lives through derailment of railway trains blowing up of aircrafts, removal of land-marks leading to marine disasters and the like", S. No. 311.

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

3. District and Sessions Judges, S. Nos. 333, 339, 366.

453. Suggestions to punish with death certain specific types of sabotage have also been received1-2.

1. S. No. 242 (A State Government) (in respect of the offences under section 126, Indian Railways Act, 1890-maliciously wrecking, or attempting to wreck a train).

2. District Bar Association) (Mischief by fire or otherwise in respect of national properties) S. No. 223.

454. Secession.-

A suggestion has been made by a retired High Court judge1, to the effect that there should be death penalty (with an alternative of life imprisonment, as also confiscation of property) for the offence of advocating and actively working for by violent means the secession of a State or part of a State from the Union of India. The suggestion emphasises that this should be done by an amendment of the Penal Code. (In this connection, it would be appropriate to refer to a recent Act2, which punishes any person who questions the territorial integrity or frontiers of India in a manner which is, or is likely to be, prejudicial to the interest of the safety or security of India. The punishment is imprisonment for three years or fine or both).

1. A retired Judge of the Bombay High Court, S. No. 95.

2. Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1961 (23 of 1961), section 2.

455. [By the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963, clauses (2), (3) and (4) of Article 19 of the Constitution have been amended. Reasonable restrictions can now be imposed on the freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of movement, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India. These amendments were the result of the recommendation of the National Integration Committee to amend Article 19 so as to make it possible for the State to impose restrictions for preventing activities designed to have further disintegration of the country, and were considered to be necessary, because the wording of Article 19(2), etc., (as it stood in 1963), did not cover a power designed to curb activities which sought to challenge the sovereignty and integrity of India, as some parties had sought to do]1-2.

1. Speech of Shri A.K. Sen, then Minister of Law, Lok Sabha Debates 2nd May, 1963, Cols. 13409, 13410.

2. Speech of Shri A.K. Sen, then Minister of Law, Lok Sabha Debates 2nd May, 1963, Col. 13410.

456. (The object of the amendment was to empower the State to impose restrictions on the activities of individuals and organizations who wanted to make secession from India or disintegration of India as political issues for the purpose of fighting elections)1.

Other suggestions to make the offence of preaching or advocating secession a capital one have also been received2.

1. See-

(i) Statement of Objects and Reasons, Gazette of India, Extra., Pt. II, section 3, dated 21st January, 1963.

(ii) Speech of Shri A.K. Sen, then Minister of Law in the Lok Sabha, on 22nd January, 1963, Cols. 7560 and 7561.

2. A City Civil and Sessions Judge, S. No. 380.

457. Smuggling.-

Smuggling on a mass scale or by international gangs has been suggested as suitable for capital punishment1. Other suggestions to punish the offence of smuggling with death have also been received2.

1. A Barrister-at-Law, Calcutta, S. No. 150.

2. An Advocate in Bihar, Smuggling of goods to enemy countries, S. No. 321.

458. Treason.-It has been suggested in certain replies1 that treason should be made a capital offence. Amongst those who have suggested the imposition of the death penalty for treason are certain Members of Parliament.-3-4.

1. S. No. 127.

2. A Deputy Minister in the Union, S. No. 210.

3. Dewan Chaman Lal, Member, Rajya Sabha, S. No. 206.

4. A Member, Rajya Sabha, S. No. 207.

459. Untouchability.-One suggestion1 is to the effect that offences connected with removal of untouchability, like restricting members of the "untouchable" classes from drawing water from wells, or not selling foodstuffs to them, or debarring them from using public land or other places, should be made capital

A High Court Judge2 has stated, that the question of death sentence for gross anti-national and anti-social offences be considered.

Other suggestions to punish with death the offence of treason have also been received3.

We may also quote the reply of the Member of a State Legislature4.

"Any person who indulges in the nefarious activity of selling away the honour and self-respect of his motherland for the matter of bits of gold, silver and paper currency to personally benefit himself, causing a serious injury to the freedom and integrity of the country should be made to answer a charge of capital punishment. Similarly, anybody who is so irresponsible and unscrupulous as to tear off the national flag or spit on it and who internationally insults the nation as a whole through his contemptuous behaviour against the national flag, should also be called up to answer a charge for capital punishment.".

1. An Advocate, S. No. 152.

2. A High Court Judge, S. No. 262.

3. A District and Sessions Judge in Gujarat S. No. 387.

4. Member of a State Legislature under, question 3(b).

460. Other offences.-

Certain other offences have also been suggested as offences for which capital punishment would be suitable. One suggestion1 mentions offences under sections 195 to 200, Indian Penal Code.

1. A pleader, S. No. 208.

461. Another reply1 states offences of cheating, misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, offences against currency, bribery, etc., assume the nature of "white collar" crimes, and so is the case with adulteration of food, and that these acts corrupt the morale of the public "which naturally is the breeding place for murderers or petty thieves who are merely scapegoats of society", and that such criminals should be eliminated.

1. An Advocate, S. No. 149.



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