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Report No. 187

Questionnaire

1. Section 354(5) of Cr.P.C. of 1973 provides as follows :-

"When any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he may be hanged by neck till he is dead."

(a) Does this section be required to be amended Yes ( ) No ( )

(b) and if so what other modes of execution do you suggest ? (Refer to Discussion Paper Chapter 4 and Chapter 5).

Lethal ( ) Shooting ( )

Electric ( )

Injection ( ) Chair ( )

2. Some States in the U.S.A. give the convict the choice whether he wants to die by lethal injection or shooting. While in India, the Court Martial Tribunal, under the Army Act of 1950, Air Force Act of 1950 and Navy Act of 1957, has a discretion to give death punishment either by hanging to death or by shooting to death.

Should discretion be given to the Judges? Or Yes ( ) No ( )

Should discretion be given to the Convict Yes ( ) No ( )

3. Statutory right of appeal to the Supreme Court is given against judgment of the High Court in election matters, against the orders of the Bar Council of India and orders of the Commission under MRTP Act, 1969. Right of appeal is given under the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Jurisdiction) Act, 1970 in criminal cases where High Court has reversed the trial court's judgment and has sentenced a person for 10 years or more, or has given death punishment or where the High Court has withdrawn the case and given death punishment.

But no right of appeal is given in case the High Court confirms the death punishment given by the trial court. Should the person convicted of death penalty be given right of appeal to the Supreme Court so that he has the satisfaction that his case is fully heard by the highest court of the land, especially when if there is an error, it cannot be corrected and death punishment is qualitatively different than any other punishment?

Yes ( ) No ( )

4. In trial by Court Martial Tribunal under Army Act, 1950, Air Force Act, 1950 or Navy Act, 1957, when a death punishment is given by the General Court Martial consisting of five officers, death punishment can be implemented only if two-third members give death punishment and in the Summary General Court Martial consisting of three officers death punishment is implemented only if all the three officers agree.

(a) Should a Bench of not less than five Judges decide the case in the Supreme Court.

Yes ( ) No ( )

If answer is 'Yes'

(b) Should the rule of majority, or rule of unanimity, or rule of two-third majority be applicable?

Rule of Majority ( ) Rule of Unanimity ( )

Rule of Two-third Majority

(c) In case of two-third majority, should death sentence be not awarded because two other Judges did not think it a fit case for death penalty?

Yes ( ) No ( )

5. Any other suggestion as for the mode of execution or implementation of a death sentence? (Please do not write more than 100 words)

Note: This Consultation Paper along with the above Questionnaire is available on Law Commission's website
"www.lawcommissionofindia@nic.in".
Responses can be sent by email to "ghatate@nic.in" or by post to the Member-Secretary, Law Commission of India, 7 th Floor, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi 110 001.



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