The Futile Justifications Leading to Legal Contradictions

The Futile Justifications Leading to Legal Contradictions

The Futile Justifications Leading to Legal Contradictions

(Continuation of the previous post)

THE EXECUTION OF DEATH SENTENCE, A Legal Contradiction, Part-XIV

Reply 9 : Then how to carry out the order of causing ‘physical death’ without first causing his ‘legal death?’

— This question is not permitted to be asked by the judicial computer. When it encounters such a contradictory situation it has to simply hang and must not proceed any further.

Reply 10 : In that case the order of the Court of Justice cannot be carried out legally but at the same time non-compliance with the order of Court of Justice is not possible on the part of the person aiding a public servant acting for the advancement of public justice as it is itself an offence.

— This means that in order to avoid the commission of one offence, the executioner is being permitted to commit another offence by deviating from the procedure established by law to the disadvantage of the person who, under the pretext of restraining, is illegally being interfered with the use of his limbs and faculty of vision which is nothing but deprivation of his life. It is not permitted by law and does not correspond to any logical instruction, which is stored in the memory of the judicial computer.

Reply 11 : Even if some illegal steps are taken yet it is good for the society as a whole in getting rid of such a dreaded criminal.

— As compassionate grounds are extraneous to the judicial computer, so taking this ground to justify the illegal act on the part of the judicial computer cannot be permitted. This cannot be within the purview or jurisdiction of the judicial computer.

Reply 12 : When a prisoner sentenced to death is kept in the condemned cell, he is in effect restrained from moving freely. If this procedure is legal then strapping his hands and legs and putting a cotton cap to cover his face to restrain him before the execution cannot be said to be illegal.

— Here the judicial computer fails to appreciate the qualitative legal difference between the two circumstances. In the first instance, by restraining the convict in the condemned cell to keep him readily available for execution, his fundamental right of free movement is not violated. Only a reasonable restriction is imposed on his fundamental right to move freely which is permitted under Article 19(5) of the Constitution. But in the second instance, there is no provision of imposing any reasonable restriction on life in Article 21, which deals with the fundamental right of protection of life and personal liberty. As restriction is a temporary measure, it is absurd to even conceive the idea of imposing restriction on life. The Article 21 correctly refers to deprivation of life and personal liberty and the word ‘deprivation’ is used in the sense of total loss forever and not in the sense of restriction which is always temporary. As by making him incapable of having fundamental rights he ceases to be a human being, this is a violation of fundamental rights which is not permitted by any provision of the Constitution.

Conclusion

It has thus been admitted by the judicial computer that there is no legal way to carry out the order of death sentence without first violating fundamental rights of the condemned prisoner. This absurdity cannot be legally surpassed but at the same time no such legal absurdity is permitted by law. This absurdity is caused due to existence of death sentence, a sentence, which cannot be legally executed. The same arguments hold good in case of execution of death sentence by adopting any other method, e.g. electric chair, firing squad, lethal injection etc. The moment the convict is stripped of his fundamental rights, all the subsequent acts of the executioner become illegal. As death sentence cannot be carried out adopting any method whatsoever without first violating the fundamental rights of the convict, the procedure cannot be said to be fair, just and reasonable.

Here one may ask a pertinent question: If in any country the Constitution does not specifically provide for any fundamental right to life or personal liberty for its citizens, can the execution of death sentence be legal in such a country? To answer the question, it must be pointed out that the fundamental right to life and personal liberty is not a right, which is given to any human being by any external agency. It is a right, which is inherent within him, with which he is born. It originates with the life itself. It does not matter whether it is codified or not. It is always violated in the process of his execution irrespective of his place of location on earth.

Thus it is evident that though the first component of death penalty, i.e. the award of death sentence, is constitutionally valid as it lies within the boundary defined by the legal parameters, the second component, which is the execution of death sentence, miserably fails to pass through the test of its constitutional validity because it lies outside the said boundary. Thus the act of execution of a death sentence is bound to be an illegal act not permitted by law and thereby it constitutes an offence of murder. This means that in the name of execution of death sentence, literally a murder is committed in every case.

Hence, to prevent any more miscarriage of justice in the name of execution of death sentence, the provision of law for awarding death sentence must be struck down forthwith as it is ultra vires the Constitution of India.

 

THE END

Dr. Subodh C Roy

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