The Calcutta High Court bench consisting of Justice Debangsu Basak and Justice Md. Shabbar Rashidi on Wednesday in the case of The State of West Bengal v. Nandita Saha @ Mou & Anr. commuted the death sentence awarded to a convict by the trial court in a double murder case to life imprisonment without remission for a period of 40 years from the date of commission of offence.
Facts of the Case:
In 2008, the two accused were tried and found guilty by a trial court of murdering a one-and-a-half-year-old child and his mother. In February 2020, the trial court convicted and sentenced Nandita Saha to life imprisonment and ordered Satya Saha to “be hanged by the neck till he was dead” for crimes punishable under IPC Sections 302 (Punishment for Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
The trial judge, however, failed to embark on the exercise of determining whether he was beyond reformation and did not reach the conclusion that a sentence of life imprisonment was barred for him. It also cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Union of India v. Sriharan @ Murugan (2016) 7 SCC 1, which held that a Constitutional Court can impose a sentence of life imprisonment without remission for a specified period. However, it added that justice will be served by commuting Satya Saha’s death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of remission for 40 years from the date of the offence.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY DIVYA SHREE GN