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Commuting Life Sentence- Revaluate Cases For Remission After 14 Years Of Incarceration Even If Appeals Pending: Allahabad HC Directs UP Govt.

first_imgNews UpdatesCommuting Life Sentence- Revaluate Cases For Remission After 14 Years Of Incarceration Even If Appeals Pending: Allahabad HC Directs UP Govt. Sparsh Upadhyay8 Feb 2021 5:48 AMShare This – xWe are pained to mention that even after 14 years of incarceration, the State did not think of exercising its power for commutation of sentence of life imprisonment of the present accused : Allahabad High CourtExpressing its displeasure over the fact that even after 14 years of incarceration, the State did not think of exercising its power of commuting life sentence of an accused, the Allahabad High Court last month directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to revaluate cases for remission after 14 years of incarceration (even if appeals are pending before the High Court). The Bench of Justice…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginExpressing its displeasure over the fact that even after 14 years of incarceration, the State did not think of exercising its power of commuting life sentence of an accused, the Allahabad High Court last month directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to revaluate cases for remission after 14 years of incarceration (even if appeals are pending before the High Court). The Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Gautam Chowdhary also directed the Registrar General to place the matter before the Chief Justice so that it could be ensured that those who are in jail for more than 10 or 14 years get their appeal heard which are mainly jail appeals. The matter before the Court The appellant challenged the Judgment and order 24th February 2003 passed by court of Sessions Judge, Lalitpur whereby the accused-appellant was convicted under Section 376 IPC and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of ten years, under Section 3(2) [ 2 ] (v) read with Section 3(1)(xii) of Scheduled Casts and Scheduled Tribes ( Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and sentenced to imprisonment for life, under Section 506 IPC and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment. The date of occurrence of the alleged incident is 16th September 2000 and the accused was in jail for 20 years. The matter remained as a defective matter for a period of 16 years and the appeal was taken up as listing application was filed by the counsel appointed by Legal Services Authority on 6th December 2012 with a special mention that accused is in jail for the past 20 years. Court’s Order At the outset, the Court analysed the evidence on record in light of the facts of the case and found that: – The Trial Judge did not give any finding as to fact as to how commission of offence under Section 376 IPC was made out in the instant case.The Trial Judge has materially erred as he has not discussed what is the evidence that the act was committed because of the caste of the prosecutrix.We do not find that commission of offence was there because of the fact that the prosecutrix belonged to a certain community. In view of the facts and evidence on record, the Court was convinced that the accused had been wrongly convicted, hence, the judgment and order impugned is reversed and the accused is acquitted. Court’s Observations In light of the facts of the instant Case wherein the accused remained in jail for about 21 years, the appeal against the Conviction Judgment & Order was preferred through jail and that the case remained as a defective matter for a period of 16 years, the High Court observed, “We find that in the State of U.P. even after 14 years of incarceration does not even send the matter to the Magistrate for reevaluation the cases for remission as per mandate of Sections 432 and 433 of Cr.P.C. and as held by Apex Court in catena of decisions even if appeals are pending in the High Court.” [NOTE: While Section 432 of CrPC deals with the Power to suspend or remit sentences, Section 433 CrPC relates to the Power to commute sentence. In the instant matter, the Court noted that Section 433 and 434 of the Cr.P.C. enjoin a duty upon the State Government as well as Central Government to commute the sentences as mentioned in the said section.] In this backdrop, the Court remarked, “The object of Sections 432 read with Section 433 of the Cr.P.C. is to remit the sentence awarded to the accused if it appears that the offence committed by him is not so grave.” Further, while noting that in the instant matter, the Appellant’s case should have been considered but was not considered, the Court said, “We are pained to mention that even after 14 years of incarceration, the State did not think of exercising its power for commutation of sentence of life imprisonment of the present accused and it appears that power of Governor provided under Article 161 of the Constitution of India are also not exercised though there are restriction to such power to commute sentence.” Lastly, the Court directed: – The Registrar General to place the matter before Hon’ble the Chief Justice that periodical listing of matters be taken up in the High Court so that those who are in jail for more than 10 or 14 years, where the appeals are pending, may at least get their appeal heard which are mainly jail appeals.A copy of this judgment be sent to the Law Secretary, State of U.P. who shall impress upon the District Magistrates of all the districts in the State of U.P. to re-evaluate the cases for remission after 14 years of incarceration as per mandate of Sections 432 and 433 of Cr.P.C. even if appeals are pending in the High Court. It may be noted that an order of remission doesn’t, in any way, interfere with the order of the court. It affects only the execution of the sentence passed by the court and frees the convicted person from his liability to undergo the full term of imprisonment inflicted by the court, though the order of conviction and sentence passed by the court still stands as it was. [Sarat Chandra Rabha And Others vs Khagendranath Nath And Others 1961 AIR 334] In State of Haryana v. Mohinder Singh, the Apex Court had held that the power of remission cannot be exercised arbitrarily. The decision to grant remission has to be well informed, reasonable and fair to all concerned. Case title – Vishnu v. State of U.P. [Criminal Appeal No.-204 of 2021 (From Jail) (Defective Appeal No.386 of 2005)] Click Here To Download Order/JudgmentRead Order/JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. 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