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SC adjourns hearing on plea seeking less painful alternatives for executing death penalty

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New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on a plea seeking to examine less painful methods to execute the death penalty instead of hanging.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud adjourned the hearing after the counsel apprised the court that Attorney General was travelling. The court said that it would hear the matter after two weeks.

In the last hearing, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that they are considering appointing an expert committee to find whether less painful alternative mode of execution of the death penalty.

Attorney General R Venkataramani had informed the top court that he had suggested the appointment of a committee to examine the issue.

He further informed the top court that the government is considering the issue and composition of the experts who can be part of the committee.

In the earlier hearing the top court asked the Centre to furnish information related to the mode of execution of the death penalty including the aspects relating to the impact of death by hanging, data on science and technology and any alternative method, which is more suitable to uphold human dignity.

The court was hearing public interest litigation filed by advocate Rishi Malhotra, who suggested shooting, injection or electrocution mode of execution of the death sentence instead of hanging.

The court had said that it should have better data before it on the impact of death by hanging, the pain caused and the period taken for such death to take place and the availability of resources to effectuate such hanging by death.

The court had also sought to know the matter from the point of view of technology and science.

The court remarked that today’s science suggests that this is the best method or that is there another method which is more suitable to uphold human dignity.

The court had also sought to know whether they have any data either in India or overseas regarding alternate methods.

The court had also suggested that it can form a committee of experts if the Centre has not done such a study.

The court had said that it may still come to the conclusion that death by hanging is appropriate but it needs to be aided by a study.

During the hearing, the court noted that in America it was found lethal injection was not right and painful. The court had also noted that shooting is barbaric in nature.

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