17 May, 2021

The Question Hangs

It is essential that India demonstrates Kasab’s execution was an aberration, not the standard.

The Question Hangs
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Ajmal Kasab’s execution marks an end to India’s widely hailed unofficial moratorium on capital punishment since 2004, when prime minister Manmohan Singh’s government took charge. It signifies a sad regression in India’s near-decade move away from the death penalty. Indian law allows for the death penalty, and death sentences are handed down by courts with some frequency. However, a 1980 Supreme Court ruling established the doctrine that the death penalty should only be used “in the rarest of the rare” cases. A single execution was carried out in 2004 after a lengthy unofficial moratorium earlier.

Human Rights Watch is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances as an inherently irreversible, inhumane punishment. It is a practice abolished by a majority of world states. On December 18, 2007, the United Nations general assembly passed by a wide margin a resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions. In fact, the international community had moved further towards abolishing the death penalty on November 19, 2012, when...

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