In Ramnaresh and Others v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2012) 4 SCC 257 this Court considered the import of governing principles regarding death sentence and summed up that it is the cumulative effect of both the aggravating and mitigating circumstances that need to be taken into account. Paragraphs 76 to 81 of the decision are as under:- “76. The law enunciated […]

In Machhi Singh and others v. State of Punjab, (1983) 3 SCC 470 a three-Judge Bench has explained the concept of rarest of the rare cases by stating that: (SCC p. 487, para 32) “32. The reasons why the community as a whole does not endorse the humanistic approach reflected in `death sentence-in-no-case’ doctrine are not far to seek. In […]

“(a) Is there something uncommon about the crime which renders sentence of imprisonment for life inadequate and calls for a death sentence? (b) Are the circumstances of the crime such that there is no alternative but to impose death sentence even after according maximum weightage to the mitigating circumstances which speak in favour of the offender?” In the said case, […]

(i) The extreme penalty of death need not be inflicted except in gravest cases of extreme culpability. (ii) Before opting for the death penalty the circumstances of the “offender” also require to be taken into consideration along with the circumstances of the “crime”. (iii) Life imprisonment is the rule and death sentence is an exception. In other words death sentence […]

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