Sunday, 13 September 2015

Death penalty under Indian Penal Code


Death penalty is one of the five punishments that are recognized by the Indian Penal Code, 1860. As per section 53 of Indian Penal Code, following are the punishments:
(i)                  Death
(ii)                Imprisonment for life
(iii)               Other imprisonment (Simple or rigorous)
(iv)              Forfeiture of property
(v)                Fine
Provisions under Indian Penal Code where capital punishment can be given:

Section 121 - Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India
Whoever wages war against the Government of India, or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 132 - Abetment of mutiny, if mutiny is committed in consequence thereof
Whoever abets the committing of mutiny by an officer, soldier, sailor or airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force of the Government of India, shall, if mutiny be committed in consequence of that abetment, be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 194 - Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence
Whoever gives or fabricates false evidence, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any person to be convicted of an offence which is capital by the law for the time being in force in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine;
if innocent person be thereby convicted and executed.— and if an innocent person be convicted and executed in consequence of such false evidence, the person who gives such false evidence shall be punished either with death or the punishment hereinbefore described.

Section 302 - Punishment for murder
Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.

*Section 303 - Punishment for murder by life-convict
Whoever, being under sentence of imprisonment for life, commits murder, shall be punished with death.
* Section 303 struck down by the Supreme Court in Mithu v. State of Punjab, AIR 1983 SC 473

Section 305 - Abetment of suicide of child or insane person
If any person under eighteen years of age, any insane person, any delirious person, any idiot, or any person in a state of intoxication, commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 307 - Attempt to murder
Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life], or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned.
Attempts by life convicts.—When any person offending under this section is under sentence of imprisonment for life, he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death.

1[Section 364A -  Kidnapping for ransom, etc.
Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person or keeps a person in detention after such kidnapping or abduction and threatens to cause death or hurt to such person, or by his conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death or hurt, or causes hurt or death to such person in order to compel the Government or any foreign State or international inter-governmental organization or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom, shall be punishable with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine].
1. Ins. by Act 42 of 1993, sec. 2 (w.e.f. 22-5-1993).
*In Vikram Singh @ Vicky & Anr. V. Union of India, decided on 21-8-2015, Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of sec. 364A

Section 396 - Dacoity with murder
If any one of five or more persons, who are conjointly committing dacoity, commits murder in so committing dacoity, every one of those persons shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

1[Section 376A - Punishment for causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim
Whoever, commits an offence punishable under sub-section (1) or subsection (2) of section 376 and in the course of such commission inflicts an injury which causes the death of the woman or causes the woman to be in a persistent vegetative state, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, or with death.]
1. Subs. by Act 13 of 2013, sec. 9, for section 376A (w.e.f. 3-2-2013)

1[376E - Punishment for repeat offenders
Whoever has been previously convicted of an offence punishable under section 376 or section 376A or section 376D and is subsequently convicted of an offence punishable under any of the said sections shall be punished with imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, or with death.’]
1. Ins. by Act 13 of 2013, sec. 9 (w.e.f. 3-2-2013)

Section 396 - Dacoity with murder

If any one of five or more persons, who are conjointly committing dacoity, commits murder in so committing dacoity, every one of those persons shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

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