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Posts tagged ‘life sentence supreme court of india’


Logic is one of the most important tools used in REASONING. But by no means am i implying, that LOGIC supervenes all the other tools, but when the line of reasoning is ILLOGICAL, my dumb mind is unable to grasp the line of reasoning. It is not the first time that i am confronted by this debility and i am sure that this issue would not be the last one to expose my inability!

The Supreme Court of  India, as per the News item appearing in THE TIMES OF INDIA dated 28/08/2009, has stated that the supreme court of India has sentenced a person by name Ghosh to life and has prescribed a minimum period of 35 years!!

As per the existing scheme of things as per the INDIAN PENAL CODE 1860, there are two sections (to the best of my knowledge) viz. s.392 (highway robbery between sunset and sunrise) and 457 (lurking house trespass with an intention to thieve) which prescribe a sentence of 14 years as the outer limit. In the hierarchy of sentences prescribed by the code, the next higher sentence would be LIFE IMPRISONMENT.

There is Section 57 of the IPC, which states that for the purposes of calculations of fractions of terms of punishment, for Life imprisonment the term shall be treated as twenty years. As mentioned in the section itself, there can be no interpretation that the term for life imprisonment HAS to be limited to  20 years.

Section 433A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 clearly states that if  the conviction was for a crime punishable with Death or his punishment has been commuted to life from death, then that person shall not be released unless he had served at least 14 years of imprisonment.

Now what is this 14 years?

Herein lies the crunch. Each state government makes its own rules of Remission and Parole. The method of computation is given in those rules. However most of those rules agree that except for those category of prisoners who are convicted of heinous crimes, remission could be granted at the rate of one day per day of sentence actually served. Therefore minus the parole days, if the person had spent 14 years, the term of sentence undergone would be computed as 28 years!!

I am astonished that a person who has to undergo 35 years,  in effect  undergoes only 17 years and 6 months & thereafter he would be eligible to walk out, if his sentence were to be commuted.

In any case i am still to understand how the Supreme Court of India could put a floor limit of 35 years for the life sentence to be served by the convict Mr.Ghosh. The logic i use to question this sentence is, when the statute had given the privilege to the appropriate Government to commute the sentence, thru a statute (CrPC), from where do their Lordships derive the power to stop the appropriate government from using that discretionary power from the 14th year till the 35th year of the convict’s incarceration?

My logic fails!!

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