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Recently, again an accused is awarded a death sentence by a Mumbai Sessions Court“for raping and killingthe techie, under IPC Section 302 (murder), Section 376 (rape) and Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence)”; terming it as the ‘rarest of rare’ cases. I am unable to understand the exact application of what the ‘Rarest of Rare’doctrine is and how it is applied each time. The doctrine ‘Rarest of Rare’ was first articulated in 1980 in the Bachan Singh case. Then in 2008, the Supreme Court judges, in the Prajeet Kumar Singh
I do not want to go into the issue under Article 21 that, “Does death penalty violates the fundamental right of ‘Right to Life”? The judgments relating to Arbitrariness in sentencing the person to life imprisonment or to death sentence in similar crimes is, according to me, violating the Right to equal protection of the laws guaranteed under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Reasonable discrimination among the citizens can only be made by the State by passing a proper law but here judiciary has stepped in to take this burden on its own shoulder, which is leading a very subjective interpretation of the doctrine created by it.
With the time, the doctrine which was supposed to be a principle based doctrine has now turned into a Judge-centric doctrine. If Judiciary still wants to keep this doctrine then they need to ascertain specific elements and circumstances on the basis of which the doctrine would completely rest. I feel that it is high time for the legislature to step in and clear the fog surrounding this doctrine because judiciary is giving a lot of subjective interpretation and in the course of that it is formulating itself as a “Super-legislative”.
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