The plea sought a direction to quash Section 354(5) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by saying that it is ultra vires to the Constitution.
The petition filed by S Parameswaran Nampoothiri, an 88-year-old freedom fighter from Kerala, said that invoking Section 354(5) CrPC is in "conflict with the basic structure and features of the Constitution of India, its ideals, objectives, values, philosophies enshrined in the Constitution of India, more particularly in the Fundamental Rights".
The petition stated that it is also against the Preamble as well as the "DNA" of the Constitution of India, which lies in the "Objective Resolution" adopted on January 22, 1947, which are all about "life" only and freedom in various forms with dignity with fundamental duties and there is not even a subtle reference about "death" in any form in the Constitution of India.
The petitioner asked whether imposing "death" as a sentence on any person is ultra vires to the Constitution and alien to the Indian constitutional philosophy and morality and if so, it is liable to be quashed.
The plea said the petitioner, aged 88, while watching the news about the death penalty being handed out quite frequently, "personally as a social being and on further study and analysis found that the said penalty is not Indian" and a "continuation of the colonial hangover" and against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India.
Almost all democratic countries have abolished the death penalty, the petitioner contended.
The plea questioned the sentencing a person to death "when the state cannot create a person or give life to a dead person".
"Whether death sentence as a 'punishment' can be imposed on a convict, more particularly when death is not defined, there are various forms of death, with various stages, and as such there is no clarity about death... there are only 'uncertainties' about death and life-after-death, and being so, is it safe to kill a person considering the constitutional values?" asked the petitioner.
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