A juvenile in conflict with law cannot be sentenced to undergo life imprisonment, the sentence imposed is modified to the period already undergone: Allahabad High Court

The Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that juveniles convicted of murder cannot be subject to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Twenty-nine states currently have such laws.

Section 302 of IPC: It penalizes an accused with imprisonment for life or jail time for 10 years instead of the death penalty along with a fine.

Allahabad High Court in Dhurandar Singh vs the State of U.P (CRIMINAL APPEAL No.- 3136 of 1983) learned Chief Justice Court’s bench led by HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE GOVIND MATHUR and HONOURABLE JUSTICE VIVEK VERMA propounded that the sentence imposed is modified to the period already undergone whereas the sentence to undergo life imprisonment cannot be granted to the juvenile in conflict with the law.

This appeal has been filed against the judgment and order passed by Sessions Judge where the appellant Dhurandhar Singh has been convicted for an offense punishable u/s 302 IPC and has been sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and was further convicted u/s 25 of Arms Act and sentenced to one year.

SUBMISSION BY THE COUNSEL: An application was filed to decide the appellant’s appeal as a juvenile, according to learned counsel for the appellant. The said application was accompanied by an affidavit in which the appellant’s class V and VII school leaving certificates, as well as his High School Examination 1986 Certificate, issued by the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Uttar Pradesh were enclosed, revealing the appellant’s date of birth as 03.01.66. It was submitted that because the appellant was under the age of 18 at the time the offense was committed, he was entitled to the protections of the Juvenile Code.

COURTS OBSERVATION: Hon’ble court believes that, while maintaining the accused appellants’ convictions, the age of the accused appellants as of a date; the passage of time since the date of occurrence; and all other relevant facts and circumstances, the sentence imposed should be modified to one of the periods spent in custody and that the sentence imposed is modified to the period already undergone.

JUDGEMENT: The appeal is allowed in part. The accused appellant is availing the benefit of bail by furnishing adequate sureties and bonds, the same stands discharged.




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