09 Jan 2018
Life imprisonment’ to be awarded when there is a prospect of rehabilitation and reformation, and ‘death penalty’ to be the last resort
Ravi Kapoor v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi), CRL.A.911/2016, Delhi High Court.
Reliance was placed on Aloke Nath Dutta v. State of West Bengal [(2007) 12 SCC 230] and Mohinder Singh v. State of Punjab, (2013) 3 SCC 294 : AIR 2013 SC 3622, where the Apex Court observed that-
“The doctrine of ‘rarest of rare’ requires two aspects to be satisfied:
A) First being, the case must fall under the ambit of ‘rarest of rare’ and
B) Secondly, if the alternative option is unquestionably foreclosed, i.e. death penalty should be the last resort, and to be looked to only when alternative punishment of life imprisonment is futile and serves no purpose”.
Furthermore, this Court observed that-
“in life sentence, there is a possibility of achieving deterrence, rehabilitation and retribution in different degrees. But the same does not hold true for the death penalty. It is unique in its absolute rejection of the potential of convict to rehabilitate and reform. It extinguishes life and thereby terminates the being, therefore, puts an end anything to do with the life. This is the big difference between two punishments. Thus, before imposing death penalty, it is imperative to consider the same”.