Analysis of Judicial Trends Rarest of Rare of India

  • Sahasransu Mishra,
  • Siddhant Nayak and Yashwardhan Mafidar
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  • Sahasransu Mishra

    Student at KIIT School of Law, India

  • Siddhant Nayak

    Student at KIIT School of Law, India

  • Yashwardhan Mafidar

    Student at KIIT School of Law, India

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The death penalty in India is a controversial and widely discussed subject. The “rarest of rare” guideline has been established to facilitate the death penalty in India. The expression “rarest of rare” symbolizes the concept that the crime the convicts have committed is so horrible that “shocks the judicial conscience” and can only justify the death penalty. The Supreme Court first created this guideline in its famous decision in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab . The present study investigates the judicial trends on the enforcement of the rarest of rare principle in the last thirty years. It presents an in-depth analysis of cases decided by the Supreme Court to understand various aspects such as interpretation, application, and some determinants to determine if the cases fall within the “rarest of rare” category. The research has indicated that the use of the rarest of rare principle is non-uniform, and there have been instances where the courts provided divergent interpretations of the guidelines. For example, the following factors have been granted different importance by dissimilar benches: nature and brutality of the crime, offender’s criminal record, and any mitigating circumstances. Furthermore, the study emphasises the principle's ongoing nature, with courts occasionally increasing or reducing its scope in response to shifting public attitudes and emergent jurisprudence. This has sparked an ongoing discussion over the efficacy and fairness of the rarest of rare doctrines for guaranteeing just and equitable use of the death sentence. The summary closes by emphasising the importance of a more consistent and transparent framework for implementing the rarest of rare standards in order to maintain the ideals of justice and due process in India's death penalty system.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 6, Issue 3, Page 115 - 129


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