LAW ET JUSTICIA LAW REVIEW

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

DEATH PENALTY: A PARADOX?

AUTHORED BY:

Ms. MONA DAS, 

Student,

NMIMS School of Law, Mumbai

CO-AUTHORED BY:


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ABSTRACT

Since time immemorial, the Indian legal system has struggled to ascertain the constitutionality of the death penalty. Even after the progression of human rights around the world, codified laws, and awakened conscience, India doesn’t hold a steady position on the death penalty. The high level of inconsistency in the death penalty judgments, starting with the landmark case of Bacchan Singh in 1982 to the most recent execution of the Nirbhaya rape case convicts in 2020, has made the death penalty a contemporary legal issue. The main contention that surrounds the pronouncement of the death penalty is that it violates certain fundamental rights of the Constitution. The death penalty is contradictory to various international human rights agreements of which India is a member, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The constitutional validity of the death penalty was upheld in the precedents, some aspects haven’t been looked upon, and require immediate cognizance, of the law-makers. A society consumed by angst easily confuses punishment with a vengeance, which inhibits justice. The death penalty is a paradox in itself as it defeats the primary purpose of achieving the penological goals of ‘punishment.' The inherent fallacies in the death penalty make it necessary for India to join the group of 142 progressive countries that have abolished the death penalty

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