An 88-year-old freedom fighter, S Parameswaran Nampoothiri from Kerala has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the legality and validity of Section 354(5) of CrPC that provides for a convict to be "hanged by the neck till dead", stating that it conflicts with the basic structure of the Constitution of India. The plea also seeks a direction to do away with Section 354(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The petition filed by S Parameswaran Nampoothiri, states that invoking Section 354(5) CrPC is in "conflict with the basic structure and features of the Constitution of India, its ideals, objectives, values, philosophies enshrined in the Constitution of India, more particularly in the Fundamental Rights".
The petition filed by Nampoothiri states that the section is against the Preamble and the "DNA" of the Indian Constitution, which lies in the "Objective Resolution" adopted on January 22, 1947, which is all about "life" only and freedom in various forms with dignity with fundamental duties and there is not even a subtle reference about "death" in any form in the Constitution of India.
The petitioner has also asked whether imposing 'death' as a sentence on any person is beyond the powers of the Constitution and also alien to our constitutional philosophy.
The plea said the petitioner, aged 88 while watching the news about the death penalty being handed out quite frequently, "personally as a social being and on further study and analysis found that the said penalty is not Indian" and a "continuation of the colonial hangover" and against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India. Almost all democratic countries have abolished the death penalty, the petitioner said.
The plea questioned the sentencing a person to death "when the state cannot create a person or give life to a dead person".
"Whether death sentence as a 'punishment' can be imposed on a convict, more particularly when death is not defined, there are various forms of death, with various stages, and as such, there is no clarity about death... there are only 'uncertainties' about death and life-after-death, and being so, is it safe to kill a person considering the constitutional values?" asked the petitioner.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Image Credit: ANI)