Essay on Capital Punishment in India (334 Words)

Justifying the retention of death penalty, King Dyumatsena observed: “if the offenders were leniently let off, crimes were bound to multiply”. He pleaded that true ahimsa lay in the execution of unworthy persons and therefore, execution of unwanted criminals was perfectly justified.

His son Satyaketu, however, protested against the mass scale execution and warned his father that destruction of human life can never be justified on any ground. But Dyumatsena ignored the advice of his son and argued that distinction between virtue and vice must not disappear and vicious elements must be eliminated from society.

The great ancient law-giver Manu also placed the element of fear as an essential attribute of judicial phenomenon. According to him, in order to refrain people from sinful murders, death penalty was necessary and in absence of this mode of punishment, state of anarchy will prevail and people would devour each other as the fish do in water, the stronger eating up the weaker.

During the medieval period of Moghuls rule in India, the sentence of death revived in its crudest form. At times, the offender was made to dress in the tight robe prepared out_ of freshly slain buffulo skin and thrown in the scorching sun. The shrinking of the raw-hide eventually caused death of the offender in agony, pain and suffering.

Another mode of inflicting death penalty was by nailing the body of the offender on walls. These modes of putting an offender to death were abolished under the British system of criminal justice administration during early decades of nineteenth century when death by hanging remained the only legalised mode of inflicting death sentence.

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