Project 39A at National Law University, Delhi publishes the Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report since 2016 and this year it was the 5th edition. Project 39A provides the annual updates on the death penalties and the legislative development on the issue.
According to the report, there were 404 prisoners on the death row across India, with Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of prisoners i.e. 59. The report also mentioned that the functioning of the courts was hampered by the pandemic last year. The death penalties given by the session courts were 77 which is lower than that of 2019 which was 103. Session courts announced death penalties in 48 cases in the first 3 months of the last year before the implementation of lockdown which is 62% of the total death penalties in the last year. Otherwise, the number would have gone high. The report also mentioned that there was the rise of the death penalties imposed in sexual offences by the session courts which from 53% in 2019 to 65% in 2020.
High Courts across the country gave the death penalty in 3 cases out of the 30 adjudicated cases. Death sentence commuted in 17 cases out of these cases. 5 cases resulted in acquittal and other 5 cases were remitted back to the trial courts for adjudications. The Supreme Court delivered judgment in five cases. One of which resulted in the execution of 4 prisoners. Another resulted in the death sentence to the two prisoners in the offence of parricide. In the other three cases, the court commuted the death sentence.