19 Sep 2022 5:27 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday referred to a 5-judge bench the issue relating to hearing the accused before imposing the death penalty on him.A bench comprising Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that there were conflicting judgments regarding the grant of hearing to an accused before imposing death sentence on him. The bench noted that in...
The Supreme Court on Monday referred to a 5-judge bench the issue relating to hearing the accused before imposing the death penalty on him.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that there were conflicting judgments regarding the grant of hearing to an accused before imposing death sentence on him. The bench noted that in the Bacchan Singh case, the Court had mandated separate hearing of the accused before imposing death penalty, as per the recommendations of the 48th Law Commission of India.
The bench noted that in all cases where the death penalty is a choice, it is necessary to place mitigating circumstances on record. However, the mitigating circumstances relating to death sentence can be placed on record only after the conviction.
"It is necessary to have clarity on granting real and meaningful opportunity of hearing to accused in such cases", the 3-judge bench observed and referred the matter to the 5-judge bench.
The bench pronounced the order in the suo motu case "In Re Framing Guidelines Regarding Potential Mitigating Circumstances To Be Considered While Imposing Death Sentences", which was initiated taking note of the lack of uniformity in awarding death sentences.
For detailed report about the order, refer this report.
CASE TITLE: IN RE: FRAMING GUIDELINES REGARDING POTENTIAL MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE IMPOSING DEATH SENTENCES | SUO MOTU WRIT PETITION (CRL.) NO.1 OF 2022
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 767
Death Penalty - Is Same day sentencing proper? Supreme Court refers issue to 5-judge bench in view of conflicting judgments.
Death Penalty -In all cases where imposition of capital punishment is a choice of sentence, aggravating circumstances would always be on record, and would be part of the prosecution's evidence, leading to conviction, whereas the accused can scarcely be expected to place mitigating circumstances on the record, for the reason that the stage for doing so is after conviction. This places the convict at a hopeless disadvantage, tilting the scales heavily against him. This court is of the opinion that it is necessary to have clarity in the matter to ensure a uniform approach on the question of granting real and meaningful opportunity, as opposed to a formal hearing, to the accused/convict, on the issue of sentence. Consequently, this court is of the view that a reference to a larger bench of five Hon'ble Judges is necessary for this purpose. Let this matter be placed before the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India for appropriate orders in this regard.
Click Here To Read Order