Can courts make life terms more rigorous, asks SC

December 21, 2016 03:40 am | Updated 03:42 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Supreme Court will examine whether courts are statutorily empowered to make life imprisonments harsher for convicts by adding the term “rigorous” while delivering a sentence of life imprisonment.

A Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and U.U. Lalit said it would consider whether the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) or any other penal law empowered the courts to add the term 'rigorous'.

The Supreme Court decided to hear on this aspect while considering the appeal filed by Ram Kumar Sivare, who is serving rigorous life term in a Chattisgarh jail, for murder.

Challenging the High Court verdict in the murder case, Sivare's lawyer and senior advocate Parmanand Katara, contended that the judgment pronounced by the lower courts was “unconstitutional and ultra-vires” as penal and procedural laws do not empower them to qualify the life sentence awarded to a convict with the term “rigorous”.

The State High Court had upheld the trial court judgment convicting and awarding life term to Sivare and Bhuneshwar Prasad for stabbing to death Anil Bhoyar on January 5, 2010 near a government hospital in Durg district of Chhattisgarh following a quarrel over a minor issue.

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