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Report No. 262

(v) Bills proposing abolition of the death penalty

2.5.9 Before independence, Shri Gaya Prasad Singh attempted to introduce a Bill abolishing the death penalty for IPC offences in 1931, which was defeated.118 Since independence, M.A. Cazmi's Bill to amend Section 302 IPC in 1952 and 1954, Mukund Lal Agrawal's Bill in 1956, Prithviraj Kapoor's resolution in the Rajya Sabha in 1958 and Savitri Devi Nigam's 1961 resolution had all sought to abolish the death penalty.119 In 1962, Shri Raghunath Singh's resolution for abolition of the death penalty was discussed in the Lok Sabha, and following this the matter was referred to the Law Commission, resulting in the 35th Commission Report.120

118 Law Commission of India, 35th Report, 1967, at para 12, available at
http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/1-50/Report35Vol1and3.pdf
(last viewed on 26.08.2015).

119 See Law Commission of India, 35th Report, 1967, at para 15-18, available at
http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/1-50/Report35Vol1and3.pdf
(last viewed on 26.08.2015).

120 See Law Commission of India, 35th Report, 1967, at para 1, available at
http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/1-50/Report35Vol1and3.pdf
(last viewed on 26.08.2015).

2.5.10 At present, two bills moved by Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament are relevant to the issue. Kanimozhi has moved a Private Member's Bill demanding the abolition of the death penalty,121 and D. Raja has moved a Private Member's Bill asking the Government to declare a moratorium on death sentences pending the abolition of the death penalty.122

121 Special Correspondent, Kanimozhi to move Bill to abolish death penalty, The Hindu, July 31 2015.

122 IANS, Death penalty: CPI leader D Raja moves private member's resolution, Economic Times, 31 July, 2015.



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