Report No. 135
2.13. Section 416, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: Capital sentence on a pregnant woman.-
Section 416 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides that if a woman sentenced to death is found to be pregnant, the High Court shall order the execution of the sentence to be postpone and may, if it thinks fit, commute the sentence to imprisonment for life. We think that the time has come to make commutation of the sentence mandatory in such cases and we recommend that section 416 should be so amended. For this purpose, for existing section 416, Cr. P.C., the following section should be substituted:-
"416. Death sentence on pregnant woman.-If a woman sentenced to death is found to be pregnant, the High Court shall commute the sentence to one of imprisonment for life."
Our intention is that the commuted sentence should be subject to further remission in appropriate cases.1
1. Paras. 2.15 to 2.19, infra.