Report No. 187
Proceedings of The Seminar and Public Responses to The Consultation Paper
On 9th of August 2003, the Law Commission of India organized a seminar at IIPA, Delhi on its consultation paper (prepared by Dr. N.M. Ghatate) on "Mode of Execution of Death Sentence and Incidental Matters". It was inaugurated by Shri Arun Jaitley the Union Minister for Law and Justice. The Minister stressed upon the need for a debate on the Mode of Execution of Death Sentence in the light of changing times, needs and technologies. He emphasized the need to change archaic laws which are of no relevance now.
He focused on changing the mode of execution of death sentence from the existing method by hanging to a more humane mode. Further, he said that the debate over abolition of capital punishment was losing its sting as "we have been at the receiving end of cross border terrorism". Hanging the convict till death takes time and is a painful process and has become anachronic.
He pointed out that the modes suggested by the Commission viz. civilized methods resulting in instant death by electric chair, or by lethal injection or by firing squad, do need consideration. He added "hanging of a condemned prisoner is becoming anachronic and the alternative methods having some merits have to be debated." He assured that the Government would take a quick view on the issue after getting the results of the debate.
After the inauguration ceremony, Dr. N.M. Ghatate, Member, Law Commission, made a power point presentation showing the summary of the Consultation Paper followed by Analysis of Empirical Data collected through the Questionnaire. Responses 63were received, as summarized below, from Judges of the High Courts and subordinate courts, lawyers, human rights activists, Judge Advocates General of three services, CBI, general public etc. The analysis of responses by way of graphical presentation as made at the Seminar is as follows:-
Presentation on Consultation on the mode of Execution of Death Sentence
Member Law Commission
Law Commission of India
Analysis of Empirical Data
collected through the