Justice Kurian Joseph opened the judgment in Sunil Damodar Gaikwad  by witting – “Death and if not life, death or life, life and if not death, is the swinging progression of the criminal jurisprudence in India as far as capital punishment is concerned.” Our statute books though resistantly, provide death for social, political and economic crimes. Interestingly, two diametrically opposite views have been witnessed recently in this context. The 262nd Law Commission of India Report recommended abolition of death penalty save in certain cases, while on the contrary a 3 judge bench of the Supreme Court in Vikram Singh [CA No. 824/2013] approved constitutional validity of capital punishment under Sec. 364A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).There are 511 sections in IPC, 54 of which project Life Imprisonment as a sentence, 11 overlapping amongst these prescribe death as the maximum punishment and only 6 in this bracket are non-homicidal in nature. It is here where the Trojan lies. Sec. 307, IPC prescribes punishment for ‘Attempt to murder’. On basis of sentencing, it classifies itself into 2 parts with causing hurt as the distinguishing event i.e Life Imprisonment if hurt is caused, else 10 years. Part II of it which… Read full this story
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