Number Of Death Penalties Passed In 2018 By Lower Courts Highest In Two Decades: Report

The Logical Indian Crew India

February 8th, 2019 / 6:45 PM

Death Penalty Increase

The death penalty passed by lower courts has increased significantly in 2018, reported The Times Of India. The death penalty is often demanded on the heels of crimes that jolt the public, prime examples being the Unnao and Kathua rape cases last year. The Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech has mentioned that the number of capital punishment awarded to rapists had shot up. According to “The Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics 2018”, a report published by Project 39A at National Law University, Delhi state that in 2018, trial courts gave 162 death sentences, which is the highest in nearly two decades. The Supreme Court, however, reduced 11 of the 12 death sentence cases questioning the lower courts’administration of the penalty.

Madhya Pradesh scored the highest

Among the states, Madhya Pradesh awarded the most death sentences. The figure shot up to 22 in 2018 from 6 in 2017. One primary reason behind the bumped up figure is the 2018 amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which introduced the death penalty for child rape. The state has also come up with a point system to reward prosecutors who enable quick convictions. The point system is 1,000 points for the death penalty, 500 for life imprisonment and 100-200 points for maximum punishment at lower courts. They even have titles likes ‘‘best prosecutor of the month’’ and “ pride of prosecution” for prosecutors who have collected more than 2,000 points.

Aspects to be considered before imposing death penalty

According to the Supreme Court, before imposing a death penalty on a person, several aspects have to be scrutinised such as person’s social and economic circumstances, age, time spent in prison, the likelihood of reformation, and past history. However, Maitreyi Misra of the Centre on the Death Penalty, National Law University, Delhi said that all levels of the judiciary have struggled to apply these principles in a uniform manner.

For the year 2016, The Death Penalty India Report found that between 2000 and 2015, less than 5% of death sentences were held by the apex court. In 2018, high courts commuted 55 death sentences, among which 24 involved sexual offences. Justice Kurian Joseph before retiring wrote a dissenting opinion calling for the abolition of the punishment.

The Logical Indian Take

While 160 countries have abolished death sentence in law or practice, 98 have abolished it altogether. A move in the direction of capital punishment when world is moving against it is not a good sign and goes against the idea of reformative justice. It is logical to embrace the international trend of a complete abolition of capital punishment in all the cases. A life sentence would be good enough.

Also Read: Cabinet Strengthens POCSO Act, Changes Include Death Penalty For Aggravated Sexual Assault


Written by : Debarghya Sil

Edited by : Bharat Nayak

Related Stories

Rafale Deal Anti-Corruption Penalties

Rafale Deal: Indian Government Waived Provisions For Anti-Corruption Penalties, Says The Hindu Report

Infant Mortality Report

Number Of Infant Deaths At Five-Yr Low In India, But Still Remain Highest In The World: UN Report

India GDP First Quarter 2018-2019 8.2%

India’s GDP Growth In First Quarter 2018-19 Reaches 8.2%, Highest In The Last Two Fiscal Years


SC Directs All High Courts, District Courts To Constitute Sexual Harassment Complaints Committees In Two Months

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 Gets Passed; Allows Authorities To Attach And Confiscate The Properties

Do You Think Imposing Heavier Penalties Will Make Our Roads Safer?

Latest on The Logical Indian


“Lynching In Jharkhand Has Pained Me”: Modi Addresses NRC, Water Crisis & EVM Issue In Rajya Sabha


Around 54 Thousand Mangroves Will Be Cut To Build The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project


TMC Leader Refunds Over Rs 2.25 Lakh Of ‘Cut-Money’ After Facing Protests


Govt To Levy Tax On Disability Pension Of Armed Force Personnel


Over 3 Crore Cases Were Pending In Court Till 2017, There Is Solution To It If The Govt Intends To Address It


FIR Against 19 Villagers Protesting Against AES Deaths In Bihar For Blocking Highway


Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.