THE OPERATION OF PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL JUSTICE IN EXECUTION PROCEEDINGS

Natural Justice is a concept from the common law legal system. The actual concept is derived from Roman Law. The word is derived from the Latin word ‘jus natural’ which simply means “the law of nature”. In a straightforward sense it means a sense of what is considered to be right or wrong in a natural sense. The concept of natural justice is used so that an act of the authorities does not affect those without power, in other words it seeks to prevent arbitrary decision-making and unfairness toward the general public.[1]



When the welfare state was first established, this concept of natural justice had just been limited to judicial proceedings alone. As a result, it was then impossible for the law to specify the fair procedure that should be pursued by each authority when resolving disputes or conducting quasi-judicial proceedings. Even if the Indian Constitution does not mention this idea of natural justice, it is nonetheless seen as a vital component of the judicial administration.[2]The basic principles of Natural Justice is to give everyone a chance to be heard. Fairness is an important concept, in order to defend the fundamental rights, to close the legal gaps and openings, it covers several fundamental elements of the Constitution and finally no injustice be done to any of the parties.


The rules are impartial under ‘jus natural’, both the parties in the case should have an equal opportunity to be heard and fairly be represented, and the court should tell each party of its judgement and the reasons for it. according to the Supreme Court, the goal of judicial and administrative organisations is to reach a fair and just decision. Natural justice's primary goal is to stop acts of injustice from occurring.[3]



In India, the death penalty is another name for the capital punishment. Debatable issues include the death penalty. Leaders in India include Gandhi, who advocated nonviolence and is known for saying "An eye for an eye will only render the whole world blind." There is discussion about these independence-era beliefs and ideals. In the end, India adopted the practice of penalising the wrongdoer on the grounds that it is highly likely that the offender will do the same crime again if he is not held accountable for his intentional wrongdoing. The provision is adopted in order to punish the criminal and safeguard the interests of the interests, but the issue of capital punishment is still up for dispute.



This brings us to the question of whether the death penalty is constitutional under natural law. In India, the death penalty may be imposed for a number of crimes listed in the Indian Penal Code, including those listed in Sections 121, 132, 194, 195A, 302, 305, 307(2), 364A, 376A, 376E, and 396. Other offences are defined under Sections 21, 24, 25(1)(a), and 55 of the Assam Rifles Act of 2006, as well as Sections 34, 37, and 38(1) of the Air Force Act of 1950, Sections 34, 37, and 38(1) of the Army Act of 1950, and numerous other provisions for the security of the nation and to uphold peace and harmony among the people of the nation.



Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Section 354(3) "The judgement shall indicate the reasons for the punishment awarded, and, in the instance of a sentence of death, the special grounds for such sentencing, when the conviction is for an offence punishable with death or, in the alternative, with life imprisonment or a number of years." To prevent the judge in its court from acting irrational or arbitrarily, this part of the statute creates a required provision. This requires the judge to provide a defence for the punishment he or she has imposed on the accused. This clause makes it plain that the court's authority to sentence someone to death or to a minimum of 10 years in prison is not unqualified.


The right to live with dignity is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which is found in Chapter III of that document. It lists life and individual freedom as fundamental rights for Indian citizens. The death sentence is one of the few constitutional punishments that the Supreme Court has also affirmed as constitutional in the "rarest of rare" situations, despite the fact that it is against the letter of Article 21 of the Constitution.



The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty in the cases of Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab (1980), Rajendra Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1979), and Jagmohan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1973). It was stated that a convict may receive the death sentence if the death penalty is permitted by law and the process is fair, just, and reasonable. This will only occur in the "rarest of rare" circumstances, and the courts should provide "exceptional justifications" before hanging someone.

The Law Commission of India proposed that the death penalty be abolished for all offences other than those related to terrorism and acts of waging war in its 262nd Report (August 2015).


The report made a number of recommendations, including that the government swiftly implement witness protection, victim compensation, and police reforms. It also recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than those related to terrorism and waging war. Finally, it was sincerely hoped that the move toward complete abolition would be swift and irreversible.



The report also discussed the right to life, strengthened the requirements for due process in interactions between the state and the individual, and established constitutional morality and human dignity standards. The Commission felt that the time had come for India to move toward abolishing the death penalty. Although there is no rational reason to treat terrorism differently from other crimes, it is frequently argued that eliminating the death penalty for terrorism-related crimes and engaging in war will have an adverse impact on national security. However, in light of the legislators' concerns, the Commission decided there was no need to wait any longer to begin the process of abolishing the death sentence for all crimes other than those related to terrorism.



A summary of the discussion about the death penalty in the legislative, judicial, and international spheres. One could argue that the death penalty is the last resort for punishing a criminal and that it only occurs under the most exceptional of circumstances. The concept of punishment is only founded on two fundamental principles: 1) The innocent should feel safe in society without having to worry about being hurt by others; and 2) To help the accused understand his obligations and rights. The purpose of jail is to provide an appropriate and healthy routine for the accused. And only when the accused has no possibility of recovering and his continued existence would compromise social law and order may the death penalty be administered.


In India, the death penalty should only be applied when the accused's continued life threatens the country's integrity or the harmony between its citizens.



-- [1] Anjali Dhingra,Principles of Natural Justice,iPleaders,(June 12, 2019),https://blog.ipleaders.in/natural-justice/ [2] Laskit, Concept of Natural Justice,Legal Services India,(July 12, 2022),https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1549-concept-of-natural-justice.html [3] SIDDHARTH.R,PRINCIPLE OF NATURAL JUSTICE AND ITS APPLICATION IN INDIAN LEGAL SYSTEM, Academic Publications,July 12, 2022, https://acadpubl.eu/hub/2018-120-5/2/158.pdf



This article is written by Ashish Eapen of Christ (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, Karnataka.

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