New Delhi: Yakub Memon was hanged in Nagpur Central Jail early Thursday morning. He was sentenced to death by a TADA court for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and his capital punishment was subsequently upheld in the Supreme Court.
While executions are rare in India, awarding of capital punishment is not. But, what is the procedure behind awarding of death sentence in India?
Capital punishment is awarded only in 'rarest of rare' cases in India.
A Sessions Court judge has to explain in the judgement as to why he is awarding death sentence toa convict and why does he think the crime falls under the 'rarest of rare' category.
That is why capital punishment is awarded only in cases of heinous crimes. For example, serious crimes committed against unarmed, children and women.
However, even if the Sessions Court has awarded capital punishment to a convict, it can be executed only after a High Court puts its stamp of approval while hearing the appeal.
The High Court too, like the Sessions Court, has to categorise the crime as 'rarest of rare' in its judgement.
The convict has the right to appeal against the HC verdict in the country's highest court, i.e. the Supreme Court.
However, if the Supreme Court verdict also goes against the convict then he can file mercy appeal wither with the state Governor or the President.
The convict cannot be executed till the disposal of the mercy plea.
In the Indian set-up, only the President or the state Governor has the constitutional right to give clemency.