The Supreme Court in India has directed that capital punishment be carried out only in "the rarest of rare cases" - cases involving exceptional brutality or crimes against the state.
The death sentence is handed down often, but it is rarely implemented. So while there are roughly 470 people currently on death row in India, only four people have been hanged since 1995.
Hanging is still the state's method of execution. In 1983, when this technique was challenged in court as barbaric, a Supreme Court decision rejected the petition, declaring that hanging did not involve torture or barbarism of any sort.