The Supreme Court on Monday expressed surprise about an order of a Sessions judge who had sentenced a murder convict unlawfully.
The Sessions Judge found the (Bharatkumar Rameshchandra Barot) accused guilty for commission of the offense of the murder, punishable under Section 302 IPC awarded the accused 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs.5000/- against what is specified in section 302 of IPC, and in default of payment of fine, to further undergo 5 months’ simple imprisonment.
Appellant approached the high court of Gujrat for the enhancement of sentence.
By impugned judgment, the High Court allowed the appeal and enhanced the sentence from “10 years” to “life imprisonment” for the offense of murder under Section 302 IPC.
Bharatkumar Rameshchandra Barot, murder convict had approached the apex court assailing the order of enhancement of sentence by the Gujarat High Court.
The bench of Justice RK Agrawal and Justice AM Sapre while upholding a Gujarat High Court order that, on State’s appeal, enhanced the sentence by awarding punishment of “Life imprisonment” under Section 302 IPC to the (accused) in place of “10 years’ jail sentence” awarded by the Sessions judge. The bench also added that once the Sessions judge found the accused guilty for commission of the offense of the murder, punishable under Section 302 IPC, the only punishment that can be awarded in law is either the “death penalty” or “imprisonment for life” and the “fine”. “Any punishment less than the life imprisonment, as prescribed under Section 302 IPC, if awarded by any Court is per se illegal and without authority of law. Indeed, there is no such discretion left with the Court in awarding the punishment except to award the punishment which is prescribed under Section 302 IPC as mentioned above.
Report By: Aman Sharma, Student Reporter, INBA