Maritime law: Centre asked to respond on death penalty


Maritime law: Centre asked to respond on death penalty
TNN | Dec 17, 2019, 04:02 IST

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Madras high court has granted three weeks to the central government to respond to a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of a section in an act covering maritime offences that prescribes death penalty as the only punishment for certain offences.

In his petition moved before the bench in 2016, R Rameez Ajmal Khan, a resident of Madurai, had challenged the constitutional validity of section 3(1)(g)(i) of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation Fixed Platform Continental Shelf Act 2002. He said that while sections 3(1)(a) to 3(1)(f) of the Act had listed different terms of imprisonment for offences against ships, fixed platforms and other maritime navigational facilities, section 3(1)(g)(i) provides only death sentence for an offence causing death of any person.

He noted that this provision of the act provides for mandatory death sentence to be imposed on any person found guilty under the provision and it completely removes judicial discretion by the courts to provide for any other optional punishment other than death. He stated that the sole punishment of death sentence under this provision violates Article 21 and 14 of the Constitution. TNN

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