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Trial Courts Cannot Order Denial Of Remission To Convicts While Imposing Life Imprisonment, Reiterates Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
7 July 2021 3:35 PM GMT
Trial Courts Cannot Order Denial Of Remission To Convicts While Imposing Life Imprisonment, Reiterates Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reiterated that Trial Courts cannot, while imposing life imprisonment, order denial of remission to the convicts.In this case, the Trial Court convicted the accused under Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code [Dacoity with murder] and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life without any entitlement of remission for a period not less than 20 years. The High Court upheld...

The Supreme Court reiterated that Trial Courts cannot, while imposing life imprisonment, order denial of remission to the convicts.

In this case, the Trial Court convicted the accused under Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code [Dacoity with murder] and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life without any entitlement of remission for a period not less than 20 years. The High Court upheld this order of the Trial Court.

In appeal before the Supreme Court, the accused relied on the Constitution Bench decision in V. Sriharan case and contended that whether the trial court while imposing a sentence of life imprisonment could not have ordered denial of remission before 20 years.

In Sriharan, the court had held that the power derived from Penal Code for any modified punishment within the punishment provided for in the Penal Code for such specified offences can only be exercised by the High Court and in the event of further appeal only by the Supreme Court and not by any other court in this country.  "The power to impose a modified punishment providing for any specific term of incarceration or till the end of the convict's life as an alternate to death penalty, can be exercised only by the High Court and the Supreme Court and not by any other inferior court.", it was observed in the said judgment.

"In view of the Constitution Bench judgment, the sentence denial remission for a period of 20 years is therefore unsustainable. The High Court failed to consider this aspect of the matter. We, therefore, allow the appeal only to the extent that the part of the sentence for denial of remission before expiry of 20 years is set aside. The conviction of the appellant under Sections 396 is not interfered with.", the bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and R. Subhash Reddy said while partly allowing the appeal.

The court added that any application for remission filed by the convict has to be considered on its own merits in accordance with law. 

Case: Manohar @ Manu vs. State of Karnataka [CrA 564 OF 2021]
Coram: Justices Navin Sinha and R. Subhash Reddy
Counsel: Adv Chinmay Deshpandey, AOR Anirudh Sanganeria, for appellant, AOR V. N. Raghupathy, Adv Md. Apzal Ansari for respondents
Citation: LL 2021 SC 286

Click here to Read/Download Order



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