Millennium Post

Courts should give special reasons for awarding death penalty: SC

Courts should record ‘special’ reasons while awarding death penalty and ‘must’ take into account the crime and the character of the criminal which should reflect ‘extreme depravity’ to deserve such a punishment, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of justices AK Patnaik and Gyan Sudha Misra, which set aside a Rajasthan High Court verdict acquitting two persons in a decade-old gangrape and murder case, found fault with the trial court order sending convicts to the gallows, saying the ‘special reasons’ noted by it do not make it a rarest of rare case.

‘...for awarding death sentence, special reasons have to be recorded as provided in Section 354(3), CrPC and while recording such special reasons, the court must pay due regard both to the crime and the criminal,’ the bench said.

Referring to a constitutional bench verdict, it said ‘there are materials to show that the crime committed by respondents, both rape and murder of the deceased, were cruel, but there were no materials to establish that the character of the respondents was of extreme depravity so as to make them liable for the punishment of death.’
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