//Death penalty in rare cases only: SC

Death penalty in rare cases only: SC

The Hindu 21 / 01 / 06

NEW DELHI: The death penalty should be awarded in only the rarest of rare cases, the Supreme Court has said, while asking the judiciary to consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances in awarding the extreme sentence.

A bench of judges Arijit Pasayat and Tarun Chatterjee, in a judgement delivered on Wednesday but whose details were available on Friday, cited a constitution bench judgement which had categorically held that the death penalty was still a recognised legal sanction for murder in most civilised countries

It said if the framers of the Indian constitution had provided the death penalty as a punishment for murder, it was not possible to hold that such a punishment was unreasonable.

The court order came in a murder case in which a military court martial sentenced a man named Devendra Nath Rai to death for causing the homicidal death of two Indian Army personnel.

The bench cited various rulings and said, "The death sentence should be imposed when the murder is committed in an extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting or dastardly manner so as to arouse intense and extreme indignation of the community.