Dignity In Death? Or To Be Hanged Till Death...

News World India | 0
| October 7 , 2017 , 16:24 IST

In a humanitarian step, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday finally took a step towards ending the medieval practice of hanging. The top court asked the central government to respond on a plea seeking execution of death sentence by hanging to be declared ultra vires of the Constitution.

Conscious of the fact the top court has upheld the death sentence by hanging, the Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has asked to seek ways to end the medieval practice.

Arguing that the method used to end a human life was unconstitutional, painful, and not dignified, petitioner-lawyer Rishi Malhotra asked the court to declare Section 354 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)- execution by hanging, ultra vires of the Constitution.

Although this comes as a reassurance to the human right activists, the question rises why has the practice survived for so long in the world's largest democracy like India.

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Many countries including Canada, Brazil, Chile and Kazakhstan have already abolished the medieval practice for ordinary crimes. However, India stands with the likes of Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Korea, Uganda, United Arab Emirates (UAE), who still practice the death penalty by hanging.

While many developed countries do have death sentence and execute prisoners, several others have abolished the practice entirely. even though, the countries that do carry out execution use more modern and dignified ways to end a person's life.

Even the US uses the modern methods like Lethal injections and gas chambers to execute prisoners.

Just in 2014, the latest available data, at least 477 convicts were hanging on the death row. According to official statistics, the courts in the country, between 2001 and 2011, gave out an average of 132 death sentences.

Although, the Supreme Court just confirms only 3 to 4 of those death sentences, the existence of the practice at all is shameful.