Centre prefers death by hanging for condemned prisoners

Centre prefers death by hanging for condemned prisoners

Centre prefers death by hanging for condemned prisoners

The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that hanging by the neck was the only viable mode of execution for condemned prisoners.

Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand made the submission before a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a PIL filed by advocate Rishi Malhotra.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked the law officer to tell as to what was the mode of execution prevailing in other countries.

The court granted her four additional weeks to file an affidavit to the petition that contended death by hanging, as contemplated under Section 354(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code, was "barbaric, inhuman and cruel".

On October 6, the court sought to know from the government if death by hanging is the best way of executing condemned convicts.

The court had then said the legislature can think of some other mode by which a convict has to meet his death in view of the invention of less painful ways of carrying out the execution.

The petitioner cited the Law Commission's 187th report wherein it was categorically opined that hanging was undoubtedly accompanied by intense physical torture and pain.

The Army Act, 1950, the Air Force Act, 1950, and the Navy Act, 1957, provided the execution of the death sentence by hanging till death or being shot to death.

The validity of the provision for hanging by the neck was upheld over 30 years ago by the apex court.

The petitioner submitted that hanging was ultra vires of Article 21 of the Constitution.

Malhotra said several countries substituted hanging by shooting, electrocution or lethal injection.

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