Tihar Jail Hanging Rules and Procedures

PRISONERS SENTENCED TO DEATH

Intimation to Delhi Administration on admission and Execution of a death sentenced Prisoner in jail— (i) On admission of a convict sentenced to death in a prison, the Superintendent shall report the admission to the Administration. The Superintendent shall also report to the to the Administration the date fixed for his execution by the court of sessions on confirmation of the sentence of death by the High Court or in case of any stay of his execution.

On admission, a convict shall be thoroughly- searched as provided in section 30 of the Prisons Act. A women officer or under her orders, by a Matron.

(iii)Subject to the provisions of section 30 of the Act, all private property shall be removed from the convict.

Issue of Articles on admission- (i) The Deputy Superintendent shall ensure that the following articles are issued to a convict, on his admission to a prison:-
a. A pyjama without cord and a Kurta Two all wool blankets or two cotton wool blankets, A pot, plate and mug made of plastic PVC, two cotton sarees and blouses may be issued to female convicts. However, if it is considered unsafe to issue sarees to any such convicts, pyjama without cord and kurta may be issued to her.

b. A sheet stating that the convict has been sentenced to death, with state of health, description and date of submission of mercy petition.

Confinement in cell in Special ward– (i) Every convicts shall whether or not the sentenced of death has been confirmed by the High Court, from the date of his admission to a prison, be confined in a cell in a special ward, apart from all other prisoners as required by section 30 of the act. The cell or room in which a convict is confined shall before he is placed in it, be always examined by the Deputy Superintendent who shall satisfy himself about its fitness and safety. No prisoners expect convicts shall be kept in the special ward.

where there is more than one such cell in a prison, the convict shall be changed daily from one cell to another.

Guarding—(i) the convict shall be under observation of the guard on a Twenty-four hours basis. Convict officers shall not be employed on guard duty.

A guard shall in no case be given more than three hours duty at a stretch;

Every guard shall be equipped with a regulation baton and shall be so posted that the convict shall be under continuous watch. A convict shall not be taken out of his cell, unless at least two guards are present.

If an attempt to commit suicide by a convict is noticed, the guard on duty or the matron shall raise alarm for help, and enter the cell.

The guard in whose charge a convict is put shall allow no one to approach the cell, or communicate with him in any manner expect the superintendent and any officer authorized by the Superintendent in his behalf.

Every convict shall be thoroughly searched daily in the presence of the Deputy Superintendent immediately on opening of the cell in the morning when guards on duty are changed, and before lock-up.

Restriction on removal– Convicts shall not be removed to prison hospital for treatment without the previous sanction of the Inspector General; provided that the Superintendent may, if the Medical officer of the prison certifies that the convict is in danger no death, and requires immediate treatment in a prison hospital, order the removal of the convict from the prison to the prison hospital in anticipation of such sanction. If a convict is removed to a prison hospital, a special guard shall be posted according to the requirements of each case of a convict.

Interviews– (I) The Superintendent may permit a convict to have interview with the relative, friends or legal advisors, once a week, or more often, if the Superintendent is of the option that such interviews may be granted in the case of any convict.

(II) The convict shall be brought from the cell to the interview room if interview takes place outside the cell under proper escort at the time of interviewing and the interviewers and the convict shall be separated by expended metal barriers, “The
Superintendent shall before granting interviews, ensure that all precautionary and
Security measures are taken before hand”

Subject to the security requirement – (i) A convict may be allowed the following facilities at the discretion of the Superintendent, namely:

(a) religious books ;(b) religious pictures; (c) rosary and essential religious emblems subject to security requirements; (d) newspapers, books etc.

(ii) A convict may on the recommendation of the Medical Officer, be allowed exercise in open air and within the prison walls in the morning and evening, under the care of the guard.

Appeals-(i) Immediately on receipt of a warrant of execution consequent of the confirmation by the High Court of the sentence of death, the Superintendent shall inform the convict that if he wishes to appeal to the Supreme Court under any of the relevant provisions of the constitution of India, he may do so within the period prescribed.

(ii) Whenever a sentence of death has been passed by any Court or Tribunal, the sentence shall not be executed until after the dismissal of the appeal or of the application or, in case no such appeal has been preferred, or no such application has been made, until after the expiry of the period allowed for an appeal or for making of such application:

provided that, if a petition for mercy has been submitted by or on behalf of a convict, the execution of the sentence shall further be postponed, pending orders of the President thereon:

Provided further that, if the sentence of death has been passed on more than one person in the same case, and if an appeal or an application is made by or on behalf of only one or more but not all of them, the execution of the sentence shall be postponed in the case of all such convicts and not only in the case of the convict or convicts by whom, or on whose behalf, the appeal or the application is made.

Petition for mercy—(1) Except in cases where a convict has already submitted a petition for mercy, every convict shall be allowed for the preparation and submission of a petition for mercy, seven days after and exclusive of, the date on which the Superintendent of the jail informs him to the dismissal by the Supreme Court of his appeal, or as the case may be, of his application:

Provided that, in cases where no appeal has been preferred or no application has been made, the said period of seven days shall be computed from the date next after the date on which the period allowed for an appeal or for making an application expires.

If a convict submits a petition within the period of seven days prescribed if shall be addressed to the President of India. The Superintendent shall forthwith forward it by register post to the Secretary to the Home Department of Delhi Administration together with a covering letter stating that the date fixed for the execution has been stayed, pending receipt of the orders of the President of India of the petition.

If any person has been sentenced to death by court Martial then any such petition shall be addressed to the president of India and forwarded to the Government of India, Ministry of Defense for consideration.

Petition submitted after period prescribed—(1) Where a convict submits a petition after the expiry of the period prescribed, the Superintendent shall at once forward it to the Administrator and at the same time telegraph the substance of it, requesting orders whether the execution may be postponed, and stating that pending reply, the sentence shall not be carried out.

If such petition is received by the Superintendent later than noon on the day preceding that fixed for the execution, he shall at once forward it to the Administration and at the same time communicate the substance of it, giving the date of execution and stating that the sentence will be carried out, unless orders to the contrary are received, through the wireless facilities available in the jail.


Note: A copy of the judgment should also be sent as soon as possible.


Action on final confirmation of sentence—(1) The Administration shall fix date of execution of a convict of his/her Mercy Petition is rejected.

On receipt from the Administration of the final confirmation and the date of execution of a convict,

The convict and his relatives shall be informed about the date of execution by the Superintendent;

The convict, if he so desires, be permitted to prepare his will in accordance with his wishes. If the convict does not desire to prepare his will, his statement to that effect shall be recorded by the Superintendent.

Execution of death Sentence—(1) The execution shall usually be carried out in a special enclosure attached to or within the walls of the prison.

Management of Keys, Conditions under which the door may be opened

(a)The keys of the cell in which prisoner sentenced to death is confirmed shall be kept by the head warder on duty who, on hearing the alarm, shall proceed to such cell which in case of emergency, such as attempt by the prisoner to commit suicide, he shall enter and with the help of the sentry frustrate if.

(b)At no other time shall the door of the cell, in which prisoner sentence to death is confined, be opened without first handcuffing the prisoner and so securing him against the possibility of using violence or , if he declines to be handcuffed, unless at least three members of the establishment are present.

The locks in use in a condemned cell shall be such as cannot be opened by any keys in use in the jail, other than those properly belonging to them.

Occupation of cell –yards—Precautions to be taken

A prisoner sentenced to death should, unless there are any special reasons against it, which reasons be recorded by the Superintendent in his journal, be permitted to occupy the court-yard of his cell half an hour each morning and evening, but only one such prisoner at a time should be allowed to do so.

During the timer prisoner sentenced to death occupies his cell-yard, both the cell and yard doors should be kept locked and on each occasion before opening the cell-door to admit the Prisoner to the yard, hand-cuffs should be applied and retained on him till he is again locked into the cell.

A prisoner sentenced to death shall not be removed from his cell to the cell/yard or vice versa for any purpose except in the presence of the head warder.

A convict sweeper or other prisoner allowed to enter the cell of a prisoner sentenced to death, to perform any duty shall first be carefully searched and while carrying out his duty shall be kept under close observations by the warders on duty. Before the cell door is opened, handcuffs should be applied to the prisoner and not be removed till the cell door is locked upon him.


Note: To allow of hand-cuffs being applied before the cell door is opened, the prisoner should be asked to thrust his hands between two of the bars of the grated door and when he has been locked into the cell the handcuffs can be removed in a similar manner.


(4)Diet—Precautions to be taken-All food intended for consumption by a prisoner sentenced to death, shall be examined by the Deputy Superintendent, assistant Superintendent, Medical Subordinate, who may withhold any article he regards with suspicion and report the circumstance to the Superintendent. The food shall be delivered to the prisoner in the presence of one or other of these officers.

Exception in the case of females—In the case of a female under sentence of death:-

The prisoner shall be guarded by female warder who shall not be provided with batons.

The food shall be distributed by a female warder of the presence of the Deputy Superintendent.

(c)The prisoner shall not be handcuffed when she is allowed into the cell-yard.

Officer responsible for execution—Mishap to be reported—

The Superintendent is responsible that the arrangement for an execution are complete and made good in time and that the gallows, rope, cap and pinioning straps are in good order.

The occurrence of any mishap or departure from the orders laid down shall be reported to the Inspector General.

Description and testing of the rope

(a) A manila rope one inch in diameter shall be used for executions. At least two such ropes in serviceable condition shall be maintained at every jail where executions are liable to take place.


Note: The rope should be six meters in length, well twisted, and fully stretched. It should be of equal thickness, capable of passing readily through the noose-ring and sufficiently strong to bear a stain of 150Kgs. With a200 centimeters drop.


(b)The ropes shall be tested in the presence of Superintendent, atleast a week before the date fixed for the execution and if they fail to pass the test other shall be obtained at once and tested when received.

Ropes that have been tested shall be locked up in a place of safety.

On the evening before the execution is to take place, the gallows and ropes should be examined to ascertain that they have received no injury since being tested.


Note : The rope shall be tested by attaching to one end a sack of sand or clearly to equal to one and a half times the weight of the prisoner to be executed and dropping this weight to the distance of the drop to be given to the prisoner.


Officers to attend execution—The Superintendent and Medical Officer of the Jail and the Magistrate of the District, or a Magistrate deputed by him, are to be present when an execution is being carried out.

The Executioner

Executions shall be carried out by the Public Executioner whenever the services of the official are falling him, by his assistant or some trust-worthy individual locally entertained for the purpose.

On the first occasion of the employment of any person to perform the work of an Executioner, the Superintendent shall satisfy himself that he understands how to perform the duty. Such person shall reside at the jail for two days prior to the day fixed for execution.


Note: The services of the Executioner should be obtained through the Superintendent of the Jail from some other state, Inspector General of Prisons of that state, to whom at the same time, intimation should be sent about the date fixed for execution.


All other prisoners to be locked—Whenever an Execution is being carried out , all the other prisoners lodged in the jail shall be locked up in their barrack till the body is removed.

Regulation of the “drop”—The following scale of “drop” proportioned to the weight of the prisoner is given for general guidance. The Superintendent must use his discretion and be the advice of the Medical Officer and the physical condition of the prisoner—

For a prisoner under 50 Kgs. Weight 200cm. For a prisoner under 60 Kgs. Weight 180cm. For a prisoner under 70 Kgs. Weight 165cm.

For a prisoner under 80 Kgs. Weight 150cm.


Note: The “drop” is the length of the rope a point on the rope opposite the angle of the lower of the criminal as he stands on the scaffold, to the point where the rope is embraced in the noose after allowing for the construction of the neck place in hanging.


Time of executions—Procedure to be adopted—

(a)Executions shall take place at the following hours—

November to February…………………… at 8 a.m.
March, April, September to October……………………7 a.m.

May to August………………………………..6 a.m.

The Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent will visit the prisoner sentenced to death in his cell a few minutes before the hour fixed for execution. The Superintendent shall then first identity the prisoner, as the prisoner named in the warrant and read over a translation of the warrant in vernacular to the prisoner. Any other documents requiring attestation by the prisoner, such as his will, shall thereafter be signed and attested in the presence of the Superintendent. The Superintendent will then proceed to the scaffold, the prisoner regaining in his cell. In the presence of the Deputy Superintendent, the hands of convict will next-be pinioned behind his back and his leg irons ( if any) struck off.

The prisoner shall now be marched to the scaffold under the charge of the Deputy Superintendent and guarded by a Head Warder and six warders, two proceeding in front, two behind and each one holding either arm.

On the arrival of the prisoner at the scaffold, where the Superintendent, Magistrate and Medical Officer have already taken their place, the Superintendent shall inform the Magistrate that he has identified the prisoner and read the warrant over to him in vernacular.

The prisoner shall then be made over to the Executioner.

The criminal shall now mount the scaffold and shall be placed directly under the beam to which the rope is attached, the warders still holding him by the arms.

The Executioner shall next strap his legs tightly together, place the cap over his head and face and adjust the rope lighting round his neck, the noose being 11/2 inches to the right or left of the middle line and free from the fillip of the cap.

The warders holding the prisoner’s arms shall now withdraw and at a single from the Superintendent, the Executioner shall draw the bolt.

Body to remain suspended half an hour—return of warrant—

The body shall remain suspended half an hour and shall not be taken down till the Medical Officer declares life the extinct.

The Superintendent shall return the warrant of execution with an endorsement to (the effect that the sentence has been carried out).

22. No execution on public holiday—No convict shall be executed on a day which has been notified as a public holiday.

23. Postponement of execution on sentence on medical ground—(1) The execution of a convict shall not be carried out on the date fixed if he is physically unfit to receive the punishment, but in determining the degree of physical disability sufficient to justify postponement of the execution, the illness shall be both serious and acute) not chronic0 before postponement is considered.

(2) The Superintendent shall at once submit to the inspector general a detailed report of such cases together with the medical opinion regarding the degree of physical disability to the prisoner and the probable date, if any, on which the prisoner is likely to become physically fit for execution.

24. delay in capital sentence—Should any extra-ordinary or unavoidable delay occur in carrying out a capital sentence into execution from any cause other than the submission of an appeal or application, the Superintendent shall immediately report the circumstances to the Session judge and return the original warrant either for the issue of a fresh warrant, or for an endorsement upon the same warrant, of an order containing a definite date for carrying the postponed sentence into effect.

Report of execution of death sentence—The Superintendent shall, immediately after each execution, send a report thereof to the Inspector General and he shall return the warrant duly endorsed to the Court which issued it.


SOURCE: DELHI PRISONS (TREATMENT OF CONVICTS SENTENCED TO SIMPLE IMPRISONMENT, DEATH, FEMALE PRISONERS, YOUTHFUL PRISONERS, LEPER PRISONERS AND LUNATIC PRISONERS) RULES, 1988