The Supreme Court said today that the Center should examine whether there is a “less painful” method of carrying out the death penalty besides hanging.
The SC asked that the Centre should start a conversation and gather data in order to determine whether there would be a less painful alternative than hanging by the neck. The court urged Attorney General R Venkataramani to come back with a study on the effects of hanging deaths.
While it heard a petition calling for a “painless end for death convicts,” the court stated that it was willing to establish a panel of specialists to examine the matter. In addition to lethal injection and the electric chair, the petition also recommends shooting.
The procedure is “absolutely cruel,” according to a Law Commission study, said lawyer Rishi Malhotra. The procedure is “absolutely cruel,” according to a Law Commission study, said lawyer Rishi Malhotra.
“Yes, it’s a matter of reflection. We need some scientific data in our hands. Give us some study on the pain caused, we may form a committee. We will keep it for a later date,” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said, posting the next hearing to May 2.
During the hearing, the judges discussed the alternatives. “Even today the question that there should be dignity in death is not in a contest or inflicting less pain… Hanging seems to satisfy both these conditions… Does lethal injection satisfy this count? In the USA it was found that lethal injection is found not to be immediate,” said Justice PS Narasimha.
“Even lethal injection is painful. Coming to shooting, it was a favourite time-pass of military regimes, in complete violation of human rights,” said the Chief Justice. The judges also ordered research into the substance that would be injected to cause death.
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