Life Imprisonment is serving a jail term for entire life for atleast a period of 14 years subject to a chance for remission, as concluded by the Supreme Court in its judgement given in a matter presented before it in 2012. Life imprisonment is awarded for crimes of grievous nature which are against the established laws of a sovereign. In India, life imprisonment is awarded for crimes such as murder, kidnapping, rape and other such criminal acts as specified in the Indian Penal Code. The question of whether a sentence of life imprisonment for 25 years without remission was permissible in the eyes of law or not was resolved by the Delhi High Court recently.
The Delhi High Court, while hearing an appeal filed before it challenging the Trial Court’s order of 25 years in custody without any scope for remission, has held that the trial court has erred in its final order without giving any scope for remission to the convict. The Bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice IS Mehta, while relying on the judgment of Union of India v. V. Sriharan, opined that “the trial Court cannot possibly order that the accused will undergo life imprisonment for a certain number of years beyond 14 years without being considered for remission”. Subsequently the High Court modified the Trial Court’s order to imprisonment fort life with a Rs. 5000 fine, which was initially kept at Rs. 2 Lacs.
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Judgment: Govind Versus State