India’s history of capital punishment in the last decade

According to the Article 21 of The Constitution of India, “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” Capital punishments have always been a point of contention in the Judiciary, not only in India but also in most developed countries. The state’s authority is both questioned and established after the execution of a capital punishment. India has made its stance clear on the matter in December 2007, when it rejected UN’s plea for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment which was further.

Despite India’s stance on capital punishments, the judiciary saves it for extreme violations of law. According to the Article 21 of The Constitution of India, “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” Capital punishments have always been a point of contention in the Judiciary, not only in India but also in most developed countries. The state’s authority is both questioned and established after the execution of a capital punishment. India has made its stance clear on the matter in December 2007, when it rejected UN’s plea for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment which was further.

Despite India’s stance on capital punishments, the judiciary saves it for extreme violations of law. In the past 10 years the Indian Judiciary has sentenced 1,303 people to death but only four have been hung till death in this entire decade.

Dhananjoy Chatterjee:

Date of execution: August 14, 2004 (Alipore Central Jail, Kolkata)

Dhananjoy Chaterjee was accused of raping and then murdering a 14 year old girl, Hetal Parekh. Dhananjoy was born in a village 200 kilometres from the main Kolkata city. He left his village to work as a security guard. The victim lived in the same apartment that Dhananjoy was guarding. According to the official verdict, it was proved that he raped the girl and then choked her to death. The judiciary declared the crime as “rarest of rare” because the guard was responsible for the protection of the society and the people living in it. The accused was scheduled to hang on June 25, 2004 but his family filed a mercy plea, which was rejected by the then President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He was finally hanged on his 39th birthday in Alipore Central Jail in Kolkata.

Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab:

Date of execution: November 21, 2012 (Yerwada Jail, Pune)

Ajmal Kasab was a part of the group that was responsible for the infamous 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. This case was closely followed by the media of our country which was probably the reason why case was expedited. An 11,000 page charge sheet was filed against Kasab which made a strong case against him. He kept changing his statement from time to time and moved up to the Supreme Court pleading for mercy. President Pranab Mukherjee upheld the judgement of capital punishment on the November 5, 2012 and he was hanged to death on November 21, 2012.

Afzal Guru:

Date of execution: February 9, 2013 (Tihar Jail, Delhi)

Afzal Guru was accused of being the master mind behind the attacks on the parliament on December 13, 2001. Five armed terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament which led to the death of 8 security personnel and a gardener. A media person was also shot amidst the attack and succumbed to the injuries later. The case was handed to a special cell of Delhi Police, which was able to track and arrest Afzal by December 15, 2001. He pleaded guilty in front of the media but took back his statement later claiming that he did it due to the pressure induced by the police. A special court was formed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act which finally sentenced him to death on December 18, 2002. Due to various pleads and protests the case went on till February 6, 2013, when his plea was rejected by the President Pranab Mukherjee. His execution was a carried out as a secret mission on February 9, 2013.

Yakub Memon:

Date of execution: July 30, 2015 (Central Jail, Nagpur)

Yakub Memon was accused of taking part in sponsoring the 13 blasts that rocked Mumbai in 1993. A charted accountant by profession, it was claimed that he sponsored the bomb blasts that were masterminded by his brother Tiger Memon and underworld mafia Dawood Ibrahim. The blasts claimed the lives of 257 people. Yakub pleaded repeatedly before the apex court claiming that his case was not dealt with in the correct manner. Two subsequent mercy appeals were rejected which ended in an unprecedented all-night court hearing. The court rejected the final appeal at 5a.m. in the morning. Yakub was woken up at 4:00 a.m. and was allowed to take a warm water bath. He read the Quran and offered his Namaz before being hanged before 7am and was declared dead at 7:01 am.

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