38.6c New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Judiciary

Supreme Court asks Law Ministry to introduce comprehensive sentencing policy

By Jhanak Singh      21 May, 2024 07:16 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court asks Law Ministry to introduce comprehensive sentencing policy

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said there is a crying need for a clear sentencing policy, which should never be judge-centric as the society has to know the basis of a sentence.

A bench of Justice M M Sundresh and S V N Bhatti recommended the Department of Justice, Law and Justice Ministry, Union Government, to consider introducing a comprehensive policy, possibly by way of getting an appropriate report from a duly constituted Sentencing Commission consisting of experts in different fields for the purpose of having a distinct sentencing policy.

"Sentencing shall not be a mere lottery. It shall also not be an outcome of a knee-jerk reaction. This is a very important part of the Fundamental Rights conferred under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Any unwarranted disparity would be against the very concept of a fair trial and, therefore, against justice," the bench observed.

The court noted the issue is an extremely complex one and it is the duty of the States and the Union of India to deal with the situation.

There has to be a conscious discussion and debate over this issue which might require constituting an appropriate Commission on Sentencing consisting of various experts and stakeholders, it said.

"Hearing the accused on sentence is a valuable right conferred on the accused. The real importance lies only with the sentence, as against the conviction. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear policy or legislation when it comes to sentencing. Over the years, it has become judge-centric and there are admitted disparities in awarding a sentence," the bench said.

In its judgment on May 17, the court asked the Law Ministry's Secretary to file an affidavit within six months on the feasibility of introducing a comprehensive sentencing policy and a report thereon.

The bench declined to interfere with the Patna High Court's division bench directing de novo trial in two criminals cases including the one in rape case of a minor girl where in the accused was sentenced to death on January 27, 2022 within days of his arrest on December 12, 2021.

"The judicial officer was obviously acting in utmost haste. It seems to us that the decision was rendered in utmost haste," the bench said.

The court noted the accused was denied due opportunity to defend himself at every stage.

"It would be humanly impossible to deliver the judgment within half an hour’s time running into 27 pages consisting of 59 paragraphs in the first case and similarly in the other," the bench said.

The bench said various elements such as deterrence, incapacitation and reformation should form part of sentencing.

There is a compelling need for a studied scrutiny of sentencing, to address in particular the reformative aspect, while maintaining equality between different groups. Perhaps, much study is also required on the occurrence of repeat offences, which could be attributable to certain groups. The nexus between particular types of offences and the offenders forming their own groups has to be taken note of and addressed, the bench said.

"The concept of intuitive sentencing is against the rule of law. A judge can never have unrestrictive and unbridled discretion, based upon his conscience formed through his understanding of the society, without there being any guidelines in awarding a sentence. The need for adequate guidelines for exercising sentencing discretion, avoiding unwanted disparity, is of utmost importance," the bench said.
 



Share this article:

About:

Jhanak is a lawyer by profession and legal journalist by passion. She graduated at the top of her cl...Read more

Follow:
FacebookTwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Ayodhya verdict: SC rules in favour of Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board gets alternate land Ayodhya verdict: SC rules in favour of Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board gets alternate land

SC bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi has allotted the dispute site to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, while directing the government to allot an alternate 5 acre land within Ayodhya to Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque.

Supreme Court Top Panel Names Chief Justices for Bombay, Orissa and Meghalaya High Courts Supreme Court Top Panel Names Chief Justices for Bombay, Orissa and Meghalaya High Courts

The Orissa High Court has been without a permanent chief justice since January 5, 2020 after the retirement of former Chief Justice, KS Jhaveri. The high court is currently headed by acting Chief Justice Sanju Panda.

Himachal Pradesh High Court Grant Bail to a Man Accused of Committing Unnatural Acts with Cow, Said that there is no Criminal History Depicting Pervert Mind [READ ORDER] Himachal Pradesh High Court Grant Bail to a Man Accused of Committing Unnatural Acts with Cow, Said that there is no Criminal History Depicting Pervert Mind [READ ORDER]

without commenting on the merits of the case at this stage of investigation and the period of detention he faced in jail, the Court after analyzing all things allowed bail to the accused person ( Jai Ram). Himachal Pradesh High Court, Grant Bail, Justice Anup Chitrakara

How the Waqf Board has the third largest ownership of land after the Indian Railways and the Defense Dept.? How the Waqf Board has the third largest ownership of land after the Indian Railways and the Defense Dept.?

SHO Bhardwaj was quick to defend the Maulvi in questioning regarding the Mazar but harassed the reported who sought truth. Why did the SHO have to harass a Media reporter when he was doing his job? Who benefits from this? Why is there a Mazar on a flyover? Why is a Minority Welfare development Board in control of so much property? || #Mazar #SHOBhardwaj #Mazar #Mosque #WaqfBoard #Islam #News #Waqf #RemoveSHOBharadwaj

TRENDING NEWS

jain-community-dresses-up-as-muslims-to-buy-124-goats-saves-them-from-bakrid-slaughter
Trending News Updates
Jain Community dresses up as Muslims to buy 124 Goats , saves them from Bakrid slaughter

Jain community in Delhi raises Rs 15 lakh, dresses as Muslims to buy and rescue 124 goats from Bakrid slaughter, garnering praise and attention.

18 June, 2024 01:19 PM
thailand-passes-bill-to-legalise-same-sex-marriage
Trending International
Thailand passes Bill to legalise same-sex marriage

Thailand’s lawmakers approve a marriage equality bill, setting the stage for the country to become Southeast Asia’s first to legalize same-sex marriage.

18 June, 2024 04:51 PM

TOP STORIES

karan-johar-moves-bombay-high-court-against-film-shaadi-ke-director-karan-aur-johar
Trending CelebStreet
Karan Johar moves Bombay High Court against film ‘Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar’

Karan Johar files a lawsuit in Bombay High Court against the film “Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar,” seeking to prevent the use of his name in the title.

13 June, 2024 12:01 AM
conspired-to-transform-india-into-an-islamic-country-by-2047-bombay-hc-denies-bail-to-3-islamists-pfi-members
Trending Judiciary
Conspired to transform India into an Islamic country by 2047: Bombay HC denies bail to 3 Islamists PFI members [Read Order]

Bombay High Court denies bail to three PFI members accused of plotting to turn India into an Islamic state by 2047, citing strong evidence and risk of tampering.

13 June, 2024 12:37 AM
delhi-hc-refuses-to-stay-neet-ug-admissions-counselling-over-paper-leak-allegations
Trending Judiciary
Delhi HC refuses to stay NEET-UG admissions counselling, over paper leak allegations

Delhi High Court refuses to stay NEET-UG 2024 counselling amidst allegations of irregularities.

13 June, 2024 12:48 PM
centre-to-hold-re-test-for-1563-candidates-awarded-grace-marks-in-neet-ug-2024
Trending Judiciary
Centre to hold re-test for 1563 candidates awarded grace marks in NEET UG, 2024 [Read Order]

Centre to hold re-test for 1563 candidates awarded grace marks in NEET UG 2024. Date for re-test to be notified on June 13, results by June 30.

13 June, 2024 01:39 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email