Death Penalty Upheld by Supreme Court

13 Jul 2018

        The Supreme Court rejected the review petitions filed by two death convicts in Nirbhaya Case and upheld punishment of death penalty saying that “the Courts cannot be held to commit any illegality in awarding death penalty in appropriate cases.

        Several submissions were made by Advocate, appearing on behalf of convicts regarding the exterminating the death penalty and declaring it as unconstitutional. Moreover, it was also argued by him that, awarding the sentence of death penalty was against the principle of non-violence which India has always promoted. Drawing attention of the Court, it was argued by him that in the year 1966 the Bill regarding death abolition was also passed by House of Parliament in England, and adding further he also said that many Countries of the world has abolished the punishment of death penalty.

        On the contrary, expressing antithetical view Senior Advocate appearing for the State countered by contending that the punishment of death penalty still exists in our “Laws” i.e. Statue Books and he also added by referring the apex Court judgment of Bachan Singh V/s State of Punjab wherein the punishment of death penalty was upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. He further contended that abolition of death penalty comes under the ambit of legislative function, and it cannot be abolished unless parliament passes any amending law.

        Hon’ble Court, disagreed with the submission of convict’s and Justice Ashok Bhushan observed “The submission of advocate appearing on behalf of convicts, that death penalty has been abolished by the Parliament of U.K. in the year 1966 and several Latin American countries and Australian States have also abolished death penalty is no ground to abolish the death penalty from the statute book of our country. So far the death penalty remains in the Penal Code the Courts cannot be held to commit any illegality in awarding death penalty in appropriate cases.”

        Therefore, rejecting the review plea of convicts the Supreme Court observed “Before closing we need to reiterate that criminal appeals filed by the appellants (petitioners herein) against the judgment of the High Court were heard by this Court giving them sufficient time for raising all possible submissions. The hearing in criminal appeals continued about 38 days. The learned counsel for the appellants/petitioners had made elaborate submissions which were all duly considered by us in our main judgment.”


Vinay Sharma & Anr. V/s State of NCT Delhi & Ors. – Review Petition (Crl.) 671-673/2017 Judgement dated 09/07/2018

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