While capital punishment has existed since time immemorial, in recent times the mode of punishment and the ideology behind it has gathered massive backlash. The general consensus around the penalty seems to be mixed, with some countries completely doing away with the practice while others using it as a deterrent for petty crimes. When talking specifically about India, one would assume that the land famous for the preaching of ‘ahimsa’ would be one of the abolitionists of such a heinous punishment, but that is not the case; pre and post independence India has always been a practitioner of the death sentence, with both Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure having provisions dealing with the punishment.
The purpose of this paper is to understand the past and present condition of capital punishment in India alongside studying its constitutional validity which has been questioned time and again. The paper explains the theories of punishment which the death penalty relies on and various past judgments in order to explain the position of the punishment in society. After in detail discussion of organizations aiming to abolish death penalty in India on humanitarian grounds, precedents were also used to justify the constitutional validity of the punishment alongside arguments for continuation of the penalty.