NEW DELHI: Trial courts across the country imposed 165 death sentences in 2022, which is the highest in a single year in the last two decades, a report has said. Also, 539 prisoners were on death row by the end of 2022, which was the highest since 2016 and the number of prisoners living under death sentence saw an increase of 40% since 2015, the report added.
The report titled ‘Death Penalty in India, Annual Statistics Report, 2022’ was released by Project 39A of the National Law University.
“The large death row population signals the continued imposition of a high number of death sentences by trial courts with a low rate of disposal by appellate courts,” the report said. It said that more than 50 per cent (51.28 per cent) cases, where the death penalty was imposed, pertained to sexual offences.
The highest imposition of death sentences in 2022 was influenced by the sentencing of 38 persons to death in Ahmedabad in a bomb blast case, the report said, adding this represented the largest number of people sentenced to death in a single case since 2016.
The Supreme Court and high courts decided 11 and 68 matters related to death sentencing, respectively, the report said. “From the 68 cases decided by the high courts, involving 101 prisoners, three prisoners had their death sentences confirmed, 48 saw their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, 43 were acquitted of all charges and six had their cases remitted to the trial court,” the NLU report added.
It said the Bombay High Court also enhanced the sentence of one prisoner from life imprisonment to the death penalty in a dacoity and murder case and this was the second case of enhancement since 2016. (AIR NEWS)