Abolition of Capital Punishment Bill, 2016

A bill to remove capital punishment, the Abolition of Capital Punishment Bill, 2016 is being discussed in the Rajya Sabha.

What is happening?

  • The Law Commission of India , had in 2015, released a report which recommended that the country moves toward abolishing the death penalty.
  • Exemptions may be given in terrorism cases to safeguard national security.
  • In India, capital punishment is awarded for murder, gang robbery with murder, abetting the suicide of a child or insane person, waging war against the government, and abetting mutiny by a member of the armed forces.
  • It is also given in some anti-terror laws for those convicted for terrorist activities.
  • The death sentence is carried out when the court comes to the conclusion that life imprisonment is inadequate based on the facts and circumstances of the case.
  • As per an ACHR report and available National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, there have been several death sentences between 2001 and 2011 but only a few have been actually carried out.
  • The Supreme Court has also stated that being on death row in India amounts to ?near torture? for the convict and is inhumaritarian.

What happens globally?

India is one of the very few countries which have retained capital punishment while over 140 countries globally have abolished it in law or by practice. This leaves India in a small club with the USA, Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia as the few countries that retain the death penalty.

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