ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Of Capital and Other Punishments

In a country like India where extreme social stratification and increasing social turmoil are likely to sharply affect the ideas and opinions of people, including judicial officers, putting in human hands the discretion to take life can be quite dangerous. Conflict and turmoil apart, the very deep stratification of Indian society makes even-handed dispensation of justice a problematic thing in the best of times. We live in times of severe social turmoil and the ascendance of the extremely illiberal politics of the Hindu fanatics. As this mood catches on we are going to find the courts silently handing out more and more harsh punishments, bending backward to look at evidence from the policemen's point of view and sending more and more people to the hangman. It is in this context that the debate on capital punishment must be conducted.  

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