Ever Wondered Why Judges Break The Nib Of Their Pen After Passing A Death Sentence?


You must have been seen that judge of the court broken the nib of the pen after giving the death penalty and it has been practiced in the Bollywood movie as well. Since the time of the British Raj, the custom of breaking the nib after awarding a death sentence has been followed by Indian judges.

But do you know why they do it?The first question that pops up in our mind is that why did this tradition even exist in the first place? And why is it continued since then? Here are the reasons why this practice continues in our courtrooms even today:

nib, awarding, death sentence, spell judgemen, signed , reviewing,

There is more than one reason why a judge resorts to this action after he/she has passed the judgement.

nib, awarding, death sentence, spell judgemen, signed , reviewing,

Here’s why this practice is followed in courtrooms:

Breaking the nib is a symbolic act. It is done so that the pen which signed the person’s life away will never be used to do that ever again.

A death sentence, in principle, is the last resort action in dealing with extremely anti-social acts that cannot be resolved in any other way.

1.The nib is broken in order to do away with the ‘tainted’ pen (having ordered the death of a person). Perhaps it is done by the judge as a way of distancing himself/herself from the judgment and the guilt of the same.

2. Judges have no powers to review/revoke the judgment or order once it has been written and signed. Therefore the nib is also broken so that the judge may not think of reviewing his own judgment (no second, third thoughts)

3. As an old saying goes: The death sentence is sad, but sometimes necessary thing and breaking the pen used to carry it out expresses that sorrow.

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