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Category For Premature Release More Beneficial To Convict Will Apply If Case Falls Under Two Different Categories Within Same Guidelines: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court recently held that number of persons who committed the murder is irrelevant in cases related to trade union activities while categorizing the case for the purpose of premature release of life convicts under the learned bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Madhav J. Jamdar in the case of  Uday v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. and connected matter (Criminal Writ Petition Nos. 4544 and 4545 of 2021)

FACTS OF THE CASE

The petitioners are life-sentenced murder prisoners who are now incarcerated. The Maharashtra government’s Home Department issued two decisions in 2021 categorising their case as “murder committed by more than one person,” according to Guideline 4(d) of the 2010 guidelines for the early release of life offenders. After serving a total of 24 years in jail, including any remission, the petitioners were to be released, according to a directive from the state government.

The petitioners requested that their case be classified under Guideline 4(c), “murder originating from trade union activities and business competition,” which carries a 22-year sentence.

According to petitioners’ attorney Rupesh Jaiswal, the incident in question was caused by animosity between two unions. Both of the petitioners were members of the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, and the deceased belonged to the Mumbai Labor Union. He claimed that category 4(c) of the recommendations applies in this particular circumstance.

OBSERVATION OF THE COURT:

The incident in question was caused by trade union activity, the court decided after reading the trial court’s decision.

Although three people committed the murder, the court noted that rule 4(c) does not limit its application to killings carried out by a single person. The fact that the murder was caused by union activity is important. It makes no difference if more than one individual committed the murder.

The court held that if the case falls under two different categories in the same guideline, the category that is more advantageous to the convict will apply. It did this by citing the Supreme Court’s decision in State of Haryana and Ors. v. Jagdish.

The court determined that Rule No. 4 applies in this situation (c). Even if it fits under both 4(c) and 4(d), the petitioner’s case will fall under the more advantageous category.

The petitioners’ case was ordered to be categorised under category number 4(c) of the 2010 guidelines after the court overturned the state’s order.

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Judgement reviewed by – Sudarshana Jha

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