Suspension of life term sentence denied

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court upholding the contentions of the public prosecutor that, the appellant did not deserve to be let out on bail since the charge of murdering a young girl in a gruesome manner had been proved before the trial court beyond all reasonable doubts, dismissed the application of the convict to suspend his life term.

The public prosecutor also contented that, the appellant had inflicted injuries on the girl’s father also when he attempted to prevent the murder. Later, he carried the girl’s severed head and threw it in a nearby bush. The prosecution through cogent evidence adduced by the girl’s father as well as other witnesses had proved the entire incident. Therefore, the appellant has not made out a case for suspension of sentence

Earlier the trial court convicted the appellant for life term in the case of trespassing and murder of deceased victim who refused to marry him and severing her head in the presence of her father, mother and younger sister. Charges were made under Section 302 and Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 302: Punishment for murder

Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or [imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 307: Attempt to murder

Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to [imprisonment for life], or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. Attempts by life convicts. [When any person offending under this section is under sentence of [imprisonment for life], he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death.]

Judiciary should not show undue sympathy towards criminals

Balakumar Rajendran

Supreme Court has held that the judiciary must not show undue sympathy towards the criminals while awarding the sentence as this would ruin the public trust on laws and judiciary. If the courts lose the basic trust of the society there would be no tranquillity and faith in the Indian legal system. There would be pandemonium proliferating throughout the society.

The law of nature has it that every individual is a combination of both the good and the wicked spirit and thus wicked spirit is chastened only by law. It can be illustrated with one example. The government provides tax supported programs to benefit citizens, in the field of academics. Every human being has a choice t either avail these benefits or drop out of school, and fall prey to all the unlawful activities thus becoming a threat to the society by indulging in criminal activities. The law will chasten these individuals by way of punishment.

It becomes an obligatory function of the judiciary to provide punishment in the event of a wrong doing and for this, criminals have to be awarded punishment based on the nature of the offence and sympathy should never be brought in as it would in-turn melt the sovereignty of the Law. Awarding justice without considering undue sympathy will only protect the public.

In our day to day lives we often come across many crimes and offences being committed in the community. For instance if we talk about rape, we daily come across such heinous crimes being committed in almost every nook and corner of the country.  However, the Nirbhaya gang-rape case that occurred on 16th December 2012 alarmed the whole country. This case becomes very important if we are to analyse the concept of justice with no emotions attached to it. It was Mens Rea or the guilty intention and wilfulness of committing the crime that made the bench award capital punishment for all the four convicts without taking into consideration the aspect of sympathy. This case clearly illustrates why a judgment should not be given on the grounds of sympathy towards the criminals.  These convicts were convicted for besides murder, for offences like gang rape, unnatural offences, attempt to murder, dacoity (robbery by armed gang), and destruction of evidence, conspiracy, kidnapping and various other offences.

The entire legal system functions on the aim of providing and promoting justice. Justice, the sole aim of the Indian judiciary can only be attained if there is no sympathy and emotions attached to it. If we were to bring in the concept of sympathy, the very essence of our legal system shall crumble right before our eyes. Thus, the judiciary made a right move by destroying the dimension of sympathy while awarding sentences.