Report No. 156
12.65. Under this clause a new section 396 is sought to be substituted in place of existing section. The existing section lays down that when a person while committing dacoity commits murder, every one of the persons participating in the offence shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for ten years. Imposition of death sentence is made to be applicable to some categories mentioned in the proposed section 302.
We have already dealt with this aspect in Chapter III and suggested that it should be left to the court as to in what circumstances the death sentence can be imposed. In this context, we have also referred many of the Supreme Court judgments where the concept of rarest of rare cases has been vividly considered. We finally suggest that section 302 must be left as it is. For the same reasons in respect of section 396, no changes are necessary thereby leaving it to the discretion of the court to give death sentence in appropriate cases.