Corporal punishment by Court

What is the procedure for imposition and infliction of corporal punishment imposed by the Court? Does the law limit the maximum number of strokes that can be imposed by the Court? Can corporal punishment be imposed for any offence? Is it legal to impose this primitive punishment in this era?
PP, Tanga

The Procedure for imposition and infliction of corporal punishment is provided for under the Corporal Punishment Act [Cap.17 R.E 2002] and the Corporal Punishment Order [Cap.17 (S.L) R.E 2002].

Although corporal punishment can be imposed as an additional or alternate sentence, it cannot be imposed for any offence. Corporal punishment can only be imposed where the offender is convicted of an offence specified in the Schedules to the Corporal Punishment Act. To mention a few, offences specified in the Schedule include armed robbery, cattle theft, sexual offences, trophy offences, drug offences, witchcraft, theft, and assault.

Corporal punishment may be imposed in lieu of or in addition to any other form of punishment to which the offender may be liable for the offence. Children are usually sentenced to corporal punishment in lieu of other forms of punishment to which the child offender is liable for the offence. Adults are normally sentenced to corporal punishment as an additional sentence to other forms of sentence to which the adult offender is liable for the offence.

Corporal punishment has to be inflicted within 6 months from the date such sentence was passed or 6 months from the date the appeal was disposed of, if the offender appealed. Ordinarily the strokes are inflicted once except where the offender is undergoing corporal punishment following a conviction of robbery, armed robbery or trophy offences in which case the strokes can be inflicted in two equal instalments at the commencement of the prison term and immediately before the prisoner is finally released.

The maximum number of strokes the Court can impose to an offender is 24 strokes for an adult and 12 strokes for a child. Before the offender undergoes corporal punishment he/she should be examined by a medical officer to find if he/she is physically fit to undergo the punishment. Where the offender is certified to be physically fit to undergo corporal punishment, the punishment has to be executed in the presence of a medical officer, the magistrate and a prison officer whose rank is not below assistant superintendent.

The medical officer may direct the infliction of the strokes to stop if the physical condition of the offender at the time of executing the sentence does not allow infliction of corporal punishment for instance where the offender starts bleeding at the time of inflicting the strokes.

Where the medical officer certifies that the offender is unfit for corporal punishment, the Court may substitute that penalty for other forms of sentence like fine or custodial sentence. However, where the Court substitutes corporal punishment for custodial sentence, the length of prison term should not exceed 3 months imprisonment.