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Report No. 262

D. The Consultation Process Adopted by the Commission

1.4.1 In order to understand the views of all the stakeholders, the 20th Law Commission released a Consultation Paper in May 2014. The Commission invited responses from those who desired to express their views on various aspects of death penalty.

1.4.2 The Commission received over 350 responses, with varied views on the subject. of those supporting the death penalty, the primary considerations were the deterrent effect of the death penalty; demands for retribution and justice in society; the demands of the victims' family; demands that the punishment be proportional to the crime; and the view that certain "heinous" criminals were not deserving of an opportunity for reform. of those advocating abolition, the primary concerns were the fallibility of the Courts and possibility of erroneous convictions; the absence of any penological purpose and the discriminatory and arbitrary implementation of the death penalty.

Notably, late former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam also sent a response to the consultation paper, highlighting the discriminatory impact of the death penalty.

1.4.3 To solicit further responses on the subject, the Commission also organized a day-long Consultation on 11th July, 2015 inviting eminent lawyers, distinguished judges, political leaders, academics, police officers, and representatives of civil society. A detailed list of participants to the day-long Consultation has been provided in an Annexure to this Report.51 The discussion traversed issues such as India's constitutional obligations, arbitrariness and discrimination in the application of the death penalty, the quality of the criminal justice system and the failure of the rehabilitation framework.

51. See Annexure I.

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