Divergences in Law panel on retaining death penalty

New Delhi, Aug 27: At least one member and an ex-officio member of the Law Commission are learnt to have expressed their reservations on its report on whether to retain death penalty in India.

Sources privy to the development said at least one member and one of the two ex officio members have expressed their reservation. But a final view is likely to emerge when the final draft report is adopted in the next couple of days.

Death penalty: Divergences in Law panel

The Commission, chaired by Justice (Retd) A P Shah is likely to submit its report to the Supreme Court this week. Justice (retd) S N Kapoor, Justice (Retd) Usha Mehra and Mool Chand Sharma are the members of the panel.

Law Secretary P K Malhotra and Legislative Secretary Sanjay Singh -- both from the Law Ministry -- are the ex officio members. A Law Commission consultation process on the report saw a majority opposing death penalty.

The Law panel will submit its report to the Supreme Court "sometime" next week on whether India should continue with death penalty or abolish it. A copy will also be handed over to the Law Minister as any call on changes in penal provisions will be taken by Parliament. The report assumes significance as it comes days after a debate was generated over the hanging of Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon.

The Commission is working overtime to complete the report as its three-year term is coming to an end on August 31. The Supreme Court, in Santosh Kumar Satishbhushan Bariyar vs Maharashtra and Shankar Kisanrao Khade vs Maharashtra, had suggested that the Law Commission should study the death penalty in India to "allow for an up-to-date and informed discussion and debate on the subject".


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