Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Mental Health Report Must be Submitted before Death Sentence, Says Supreme Court

May 25, 2022
Mental Health Report

Courts must now report on the accused’s mental health and assess his behaviour in prison before handing down a death sentence, according to a new set of guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in a ruling last week.

Madhya Pradesh is facing an appeal from three death row inmates who robbed a house and brutally murdered three women in June 2011, a three-judge Supreme Court tribunal, for good behaviour and seeing penance in jail. To improve, the contemporary death sentence given by the Magistrate Court and High Court of Madhya Pradesh has been replaced by life imprisonment for at least 25 years.

A panel made up of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi ruled on Friday that Bachan Singh v Punjab High Court (1980) emphasized the need to defuse the situation before the execution of the death penalty. He provides seven reasons for analysis: the circumstances in which the crime occurred (he acted under extreme mental or emotional instability; he acted under duress; whether the defendant was morally justified in committing the crime); the age of the accused; his mental state at the time of the incident; improvement potential; And if the defendant will become a constant threat to society.

The same decision says that the death penalty should only be used in “the rarest of cases”, a principle cited by most courts when discussing the death penalty.

The court said the lack of a system to ensure the due process has now led the court to issue guidelines.

The ruling establishes that the State must, at the appropriate stage, make available the material already collected, at the appropriate stage, so that the Court of Sessions makes known the mental and psychological assessment of the accused of the crime of imprisonment. death, and adds that it establishes the structure of the individual. Be careful when committing crimes.

The court also ordered the state to collect information on the defendant’s age, family history, criminal history, educational credentials and other details.