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Report No. 35

681. Some Members of State Legislatures have suggested schemes of division. Thus, it has been suggested1, that in murders punishable with death should be included murders for gain and planned murders with conspiracy.

1. Member of a State.Legislative Assembly, S. No. 225.

682. The reply of another Member of State Legislature1 is that the division of murders into capital and non-capital may be made on the following lines, that is to say-

(a) the circumstances of the murder, if the murderer was forced to commit the murder;

(b) nature and character of the murder, if there is enough ground to believe that the murder was an accident and the murderer will repent and prove to be a good and peaceful citizen; and

(c) the provocation being of a nature which could not be tolerated.

(The intention seems to be that these cases should be non-capital).

1. Under questions 5 and 6. Member of a State Legislature, S. No. 243.

683. The suggestion of another Member of a State Legislature1 is that murders may be divided into categories, and pre-meditated murders and group murders, and dacoity combined with murders, should be punishable with death.

1. Member of a State Legislature, S. No. 248.

684. Another suggestion is1 that murders committed out of provocation caused by some moral infliction on the murderer or persons near and dear to him, or murders committed in self-defence or to save his family members or to save his property, should be non-capital, and other murders should be punishable with death.

1. Member of a State Legislature, under questions 5 and 6, S. No. 232.

685. Some District and Sessions Judges have suggested a scheme of division. Thus, one suggestion1 is that murders of heinous character and murders committed after planning and cold calculations should be included in the category of capital murders.

1. A District and Sessions Judge, S. No. 380.

686. The suggestion of a District and Sessions Judge1 is that the principle laid down in the Homicide Act2 may be followed, but one more category may be added, namely, where murder has been committed by a murderer sentenced to life imprisonment, it should be a capital murder.

1. S. No. 443.

2. The Homicide Act, 1957.

687. The suggestion of another District and Sessions Judge1 is that of the four classes of murder mentioned in the four clauses of section 300, (Indian Penal Code, the sentence of death should be restricted to

(i) cases under section 300, first clause, because it is always brutal and barbarous to intentionally kill another;

(ii) to murder under the second, third and fourth clauSes of section 300, where the injuries caused are brutal or the action is highly repugnant.

In other cases, the sentence of imprisonment for life should be imposed.

1. A District and Sessions Judge, S. No. 325.

688. Many other suggestions for division have been received, for example, that heinous, cold-blooded, conspiratorial murders for some selfish wrongful gain, should be capital murders1.

(iii) Replies emphasising particular types of murders with reference to victims of connection with other offences

1. An Advocate, S. No. 410.

689. Another suggestion1 is that murders punishable with death would include dacoity with murder, rape with murder, death caused by arson, murder of women and children.

1. S. No. 138.

690. Another suggestion1 is that murders punishable with death would include pre-meditated and deliberate murder, murder by fire-arms and poisoning, and murder of more than one person, but infanticide should be excluded. Another reply2 would include offences under sections 131, 132, 302, 303 and 396, Indian Penal Code, under the category of capital offences.

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

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

691. One reply1 suggests a simple classification, e.g., (i) voluntary murder with evil motive, (ii) accidental murder through negligence, (iii) murder for self defence, and (iv) murder under provocation.

Another suggestion2 is that if the death penalty is to be retained at all, only murders under the following categories should be punishable with death:-

(a) murders committed brutally without any motive whatever by persons having sadistic nomicidal tendencies;

(b) murders committed in cold blood and brutally with a view to personal gain or connected with robbery or dacoity;

(c) other cases of murders in furtherance of vengeance or spite of family feuds or deep rooted plans to kill a person.

1. An Inspector General of Police, S. No. 166.

2. S. No. 211.

692. One State Government1 has suggested that the following should be non-capital murders not punishable with death, and that other murders should be capital murders punishable with death or imprisonment for life. The suggested scheme is briefly as follows:

(Non-capital murders as suggested in the reply are-

(i) murders committed in the heat of passion and without pre-meditation by normally law abiding persons;

(ii) killing in pursuance of suicide pact;

(iii) mercy killing;

(iv) and the like.).

1. A State Government, S. No. 129, under question 6(b).

693. It has also been suggested1 that, for a conviction under section 302 read with section 34 or section 302 read with section 149, Indian Penal Code, and for cases where murder is resorted to for the sake of robbery or dacoity or rape or allied sex offences, invariably the sentence should be the capital sentence, and for offences under sections 303, 305, 307 and 396, the minimum sentence should be capital sentences.

(iv) Wilful or pre-meditated murders

1. A District and Sessions Judge, Gujarat, No. 212.

694. In several replies, the test for imposing the death sentence has been suggested as "wilful" murder or "intentional" murder; or "premeditation1". In many other replies2, pre-meditation along with other elements has been taken as the basis for division.

1. A Pleader, Madras, S. No. 109 and an Inspector-General of Police S. No. 131.

2. The Bar Association of India, S. No. 183.

695. One reply1 suggests that categories of murder can be made, and under murders punishable with death should fall pre-planned and well-thought out brutal murders.

1. A District and Sessions Judge, S. No. 521.

696. An additional Sessions Judge in the State of Maharashtra1 has stated that section 304 of the Indian Penal Code is enacted in the direction of division of murder, And has given this suggestion:-

"Murder with rape, murder of women, murder during dacoity, pre-meditated, cold-blooded murder should be in the first category. Others should be left to the discretion of the court.".

(v) Classification otherwise than on the lines of death sentence

1. S. No. 527.

697. One reply suggests1 that murders should be divided into (a) murders punishable with imprisonment till correction is achieved, and (b) murders punishable with imprisonment for life.

(vi) Suggestions for further investigation

1. An Inspector-General of Prisons, S. No. 131.

698. A retired High Court Judge has1 suggested that such division of murders is possible, and that Government should appoint a committee to study the subject and consider the changes made in various countries on this point.

(vii) Suggestion of the Bar Association of India

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

699. The reply of the Bar Association of India1 has also dealt with this point. The scheme suggested by it contemplates that the imposition of the sentence of death should, (so far as murders are concerned), be confined to pre-meditated murders, murders in the course of dacoity, premeditated murders under section 303, and attempt to murder by a life convict.

1. Reply of the Bar Association of India, S. No. 183, under question 6, referred with questions 3(a) and (b).

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