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Raushni Ranjan Pradhan, II year, Law College Dehradun


In India, the highest Punishment is judicial murder know as the death penalty or as capital punishment. The legal term for the death penalty is capital punishment. Capital Punishment is a legal penalty in India. The capital Punishment has been distributed in sixteen instances since 1995, while a total of thirty executions have taken place since 1991, the foremost recent of which were executed out in 2020.

What crimes are punishable by death in India?

In India, the crimes which are punishable by death include various crimes that have aggravated murder, terrorism-related crimes leading to death, rape not leading to death. The question arises repeatedly that when India is going to abolish the death penalty. We can see the most of the civilised country has abolished the death penalty. But currently, India does not need to abolish the death penalty.

Death Penalty for Rape

If we are talking about the abolishing of the execution of the death penalty, then we are ready to see how rape crimes will increase day by day in India. The Indian law doesn’t prescribe execution to rape victims. Rape is one of the foremost heinous crimes that are increasing rapidly. If we would like the control of rape cases then the simplest solution for the rape victims is the execution of the death penalty. Many rape cases in India within the past few months have put a spotlight on the difficulty of gender-based attacks within the country. Recently on March 2020, India has witnessed its first death penalty in rape cases. The four men were convicted for the December 16, 2012 rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, or popularly referred to as ‘Nirbhaya case'. During this case, it had been said that “justice was done after seven years “. In the Indian law system, the death penalty is only awarded in the “rarest of rare". It’s very hard to time for India to take a step ahead and award the death penalty to rape victims. For all the rape victims there should be only one answer and that is capital punishment. In Hyderabad rape case a 27 – year old veterinary doctor was raped by four men. The four men were shot dead by the police in December 2019, when they tried to run from the police custody.

The Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly correspondingly passed a bill to allow the death penalty in rape cases. According to the report of Law Commission of India, there is no evidence to prove that the death penalty is a stronger deterrent than life incarceration. In August 2019, Indian Government amended the Protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 to allow the death penalty for the rape of children younger than 12 years. According to the report, the death sentences in cases of murder involving sexual offences increased in the past four years.

1. Scarlett Keeling Rape and Murder case

Scarlett was a tourist and she came to India with her family. She was raped in 2009 and then drowned in the sea and murdered. This case was one of the most important cases because it was in the media for all the wrong reasons.

2. Park Street Rape Case

In this case, a girl named Suzette Jordan was gang-raped inside a moving car then thrown out on Park Street on the night of 5 February 2012. In December 2015, the three accused, unable to prove their innocence, were pronounced guilty by the court.

3. Nirbhaya case

The most Flagrant of all rape cases has to be one of the most important cases of the Delhi gang rape of December 2012. The girl named Nirbhaya in order not to disclose her identity. She was raped by six men while she was travelling in a bus with her friend. The girl was viciously injured with an iron rod and later died due to her horrific injuries. The culprits who committed the rape were arrested. One of the culprits committed suicide in jail. Four of them were sentenced to death. [1]

All the above cases are the most important rape cases in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2018 annual report, 33,356 rape cases were reported across India in 2018. Out of those, 31,320 were committed by someone known to the victim of the cases.[2] The government of India has set up a special fund for women who have been sexually attacked known as “Nirbhaya fund". This fund was set up by the government of India in the year 2013 to help the women and female children. But none of those government funds led to any decrease within the number of rape cases.

As far as day by day the rape crime is increasing. During our former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, the Supreme Court dealt with capital punishment in rape cases. In ‘Nirbhaya ‘case it was the first time that four culprits who have committed the rape were hanged together on the same pulpit in March 2020. In ‘Nirbhaya Case’ one of the culprits was minor at the time when the crime was committed, was released after three years from rehabilitation reforms. There are two methods of the death penalty in India first one is hanging and the second one is shooting.

The question arises many times repeatedly why the death penalty is not an answer to all the rape victims. In Indian Penal code section, 375 is mentioned as Rape? Only a man can commit a ‘Rape [3] ‘. Even consensual sex with a girl below 18 years of age is rape. When women or a girl is not able to communicate her consent, it is rape. Consent can be given in any form verbal and non – verbal or by words or any gestures. Consent should not be forced consent or consent by fear. If a girl or woman is intoxicated and gives her consent for sexual intercourse but that does not mean that she was willing to do that. Punishment for rape is given under section 376 of the Indian Penal code. In my opinion, if a man is committing a crime he is in the sense of what type of crime he is committing. If a man is committing Rape while committing rape he not only injures a girl physically; he injures her mentally thus ruining her life that she used to live with pride. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes; if we grant a punishment to the rapist that he should be behind the Prison. Then why we can’t hang the rapist till the death. Rapist going for several years in prison doesn’t mean his mentality will change. He can again commit rape and spoil the life of another girl.


In Indian society, Rape is an example of abasement. There are many persons including Hon'ble Mr L.K Advani who advocate for the death sentences to the rapists but on the opposite hand, Justice Malimath committee’s report opines that there must not be death for the rapist. I felt we should not always just blame the judiciary but society as well. Rape victims don’t come from the authority but from society; itself. In Indian society, nobody will allow marrying with a rape victim. We all are a part of the same system. India needs to take real measures to protect its women from rapists. That's why I am adamant over the death penalty is an answer to all therapists.


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