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Report No. 262

(iii) Continued existence of the mandatory death penalty

2.5.7 Despite the fact that the Supreme Court found the mandatory death penalty to be unconstitutional and arbitrary, the Parliament has since enacted laws that continue to prescribe the mandatory death penalty. The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002, in Section 3(g)(i), the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, in Section 3(2)(i) and Section 27(3) of the Arms Act continue to prescribe a mandatory death sentence.

The mandatory death sentence was also introduced into the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 by amendment in 1989. The Bombay High Court declared it to be unconstitutional in 2010, Indian Harm Reduction Network v. The Union of India, Criminal Appeal No. 1784/2010, Bombay High Court and the Act was finally amended to remove it only in 2014.



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