Monday, 6 July 2015

KILLING CRIME IN INDIA WITHOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

“PUNISHMENT IS NOT FOR REVENGE, BUT TO LESSEN CRIME AND REFORM THE CRIMINAL”
BEFORE WRITING THIS, I SHOULD NOT HESITATE TO INFORM YOU THAT I CERTAINLY DON’T CONSIDER MYSELF ELIGIBLE TO WRITE ON SUCH LEGAL TOPIC IN ANYWAY. BUT, I WOULD TRY TO WRITE IT FROM A COMMON MAN’S POINT OF VIEW. BEING JUST A MERE OBSERVER, I AM PRESENTING YOU MY ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION FROM THE SPECTACLES OF A COMMON MAN ABOUT CRIME IN INDIA AND THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH SENTENCE.
THERE HAS BEEN NUMEROUS DEBATES ON THE TOPIC “IF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS ABOLISHED ----CAN IT DECREASE THE NUMBER OF HEINOUS CRIMES??”. JUDICIARY HAS WORKED A LOT,NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, MADE AMENDMENTS AFTER AMENDMENTS TO INCLUDE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT TO REDUCE BRUTAL CRIMES. DEATH PENALTY IS GRANTED WHEN THE COURT FEELS THAT THE CASE FALLS UNDER “RAREST OF RARE CASE”.
THE GENERAL PERCEPTION IS, IF A CONVICTED PERSON IS “HANGED TILL DEATH”, ANY ONE IN THE SOCIETY WOULD FEAR TO COMMIT SUCH OFFENCE OR, WOULD WITHDRAW FROM COMMITTING SUCH OFFENCE. THE THING IS, TO BE MORE SPECIFIC, WHEN A PERSON IS MURDERED, WHEN A GIRL DIES IN A RAVISH INCIDENT, WHAT SOCIETY WANTS IS “EYE FOR AN EYE”, “BLOOD FOR BLOOD”. BUT, IT SHOULDN'T BE THE CASE. YOU JUST CAN’T TAKE ANY ONE’S LIFE, JUST BECAUSE HE HAS TAKEN ANOTHER ONE’S LIFE. AND IN THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY OF THE WORLD (INDIA), IT TOTALLY SOUNDS ABSURD, FORFEITING SOMEONE'S RIGHT TO LIFE, WHICH OUR CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES. ARTICLE 21 STATES THAT, “NO PERSON SHALL BE DEPRIVED OF HIS LIFE OR PERSONAL LIBERTY EXCEPT ACCORDING TO PROCEDURE ESTABLISHED BY LAW”, WHICH MAY HANG YOU TILL DEATH. CERTAINLY, THIS HAS BEEN DONE TO CONTROL THE CRIME RATE. BUT, HAS IT REALLY AFFECTED OUR CRIME RATE? IF AFFECTED, HOW IT HAS BEEN AFFECTED?
MICHIGAN IS ONE OF THE 12 STATES IN U.S THAT DOES NOT HAVE DEATH PENALTY. THE STATE WAS THE FIRST ENGLISH SPEAKING GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD TO BAN DEATH PENALTY. AND STATISTICS, ACCORDING TO A SURVEY BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, REVEALS THAT STATES WITHOUT THE DEATH PENALTY HAVE BETTER RECORD ON HOMICIDES RATES.
NOW LETS COME TO INDIA’S DEATH PENALTY. THE SUPREME COURT (SC) IN INDIA RETAINS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR A NUMBER OF SERIOUS OFFENCES. THE SC RULED IN 1983 THAT THE DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE IMPOSED ONLY IN THE ‘RAREST OF RARE CASES’. WHILE STATING THAT HONOUR KILLINGS FALL WITHIN “RAREST OF RARE ” CATEGORY. DEATH SENTENCE CAN ALSO BE IMPOSED ON POLICE OFFICIALS WHO COMMIT POLICE BRUTALITY IN FORM OF ENCOUNTER KILLINGS. SOME OF THE CRIMES WHICH ARE PUNISHABLE UNDER DEATH ARE—CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT A CAPITAL OFFENCE (120B IPC) , WAGING OR ATTEMPTING OR ABETTING WAGING WAR (121 IPC), MURDER (302, 303 IPC), RAPE—IF THAT RESULTS IN VICTIM’S DEATH OR IS A REPEAT OFFENDER (376 IPC AND CRIMINAL AMENDMENT ACT, 2013), IN GUJRAT ONLY—MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF POISONED ALCOHOL WHICH RESULTS IN DEATH(S) (BOMBAY PROHIBITION BILL, 2009). IF DEATH SENTENCE IS AWARDED BY HC, THE CONVICT MAY APPEAL TO SC BUT, IF THE SC TURNS DOWN THE APPEAL, HE CAN SUBMIT A MERCY PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR OF THE STATE UNDER ARTICLE 72(1).
BUT, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, CRIMINALS DOESN'T FEAR DEATH, THEY FEAR EFFICIENCY OF LAW AND ORDERS, EFFICIENCY OF JUDICIAL MECHANISM. AS THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS NOT SO SIMPLE AND THE COMMON MAN OFTEN GETS INTO TROUBLE WITH IT, THE CRIMINALS KNOW THAT THEY CAN ESCAPE FROM BEING CONVICTED. THEY CAN FURNISH BAIL, SO THAT THEY CAN LIVE FREELY, BEFORE THE TRIAL COMMENCES. AND IF THEY WANT TO GO THE OTHER WAY ROUND, THEY CAN EVEN BRIBE THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR AND TELL TO FABRICATE THE CASE OR DROP IT OR THEY CAN FIND INNUMERABLE LOOP HOLES, IF THEY CAN AFFORD A COSTLY LAWYER. AND THESE ARE THE INEFFICIENCIES I AM TALKING ABOUT. THE ACCUSED PERSON SIMPLY DON’T FEAR DEATH SENTENCE. MOST OFTEN IT TAKES YEARS TO HANG A CONVICTED PERSON.THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF INEFFICIENCY.
THEN WHAT CAN BE A SUBSTITUTE WITH DEATH SENTENCE? CERTAINLY, THERE IS SOLUTION TO THIS QUESTION. LIFE IMPRISONMENT CAN HELP IN REDUCING CRIME RATE. IF DEATH SENTENCE IS ABOLISHED, DEMOCRACY WILL BE A DEMOCRACY IN TRUE SENSE, WHERE LIFE OF NONE CAN BE TAKEN AWAY. IN PLACE OF DEATH SENTENCE, LIFE IMPRISONMENT CAN WORK. IN CASE OF DEATH SENTENCE, THE CONVICT DOESN'T GET TIME TO REALISE HIS GUILT, AS HE DIES WITHIN A MINUTE AND IN CASE OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT, THE CONVICT GETS YEARS TO REALISE THAT HE HAS DONE WRONG AND THIS ALSO GIVES AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE HIMSELF FOR BETTER. SPECIAL TREATMENT AND SPECIAL WORK CAN BE ALLOTTED TO THAT CONVICT TO MAINTAIN THE SERIOUS DEGREE OF PUNISHMENT HE DESERVES.FOR INSTANCE, IF YOU WANT TO PUNISH SOMEONE FOR MURDER, YOU CAN’T PUNISH HIM BY MURDERING HIM (DEATH PENALTY). THE LAND OF NON-VIOLENCE DOESN'T MORALLY ALLOW YOU “EYE FOR AN EYE”. AS BECAUSE TAKING EYE FOR AN EYE WILL RESULT IN MAKING THE WHOLE WORLD BLIND AND THAT’S WHAT MAHATMA SAID. SIMILARLY, MURDERING SOMEONE FOR MURDER WILL NOT HELP THE SOCIETY TO BE MURDER-FREE. IF YOU WANT YOUR SOCIETY TO BE MURDER-FREE, THEN CHANGE THE PREHISTORIC LAWS, LEARN THE MODERN TREND OF KEEPING CRIME RATE UNDER CONTROL. MANKIND CAN’T BE BLAMED WHEN WE UPROOT MANKIND IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE.
CERTAINLY, I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE MANY BRILLIANT MINDS WHO ALL POSSESS MUCH MORE REALISTIC IDEAS AND WILL HELP THE LEGAL SYSTEM TO GAIN REFORMS.HOPE FOR BETTER TOMORROW.
“LAY THEN THE AXE TO THE ROOT, AND TEACH GOVERNMENTS HUMANITY. IT IS THEIR SINGUINARY PUNISHMENTS WHICH CORRUPT MANKIND”
~ Arghya Samaddar
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