Ranjith Marar, counsel for intervenor, briefing the media following the Constitution Bench pronouncing the verdict on seven of Rajiv Gandhi killers, in New Delhi on Wednesday. – Photo: V. Sudershan” src=”http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/02642/TH03_RAJIV_LAYWERS_2642907e.jpg” alt=”Ranjith Marar, counsel for intervenor, briefing the media following the Constitution Bench pronouncing the verdict on seven of Rajiv Gandhi killers, in New Delhi on Wednesday. – Photo: V. Sudershan” width=”318″ height=”441″ />
Apex court says showing undeserved leniency in sentencing will only cause harm to society.
Noticing that “criminals of all types are on the rise” and reformation of prisoners had not worked but only produced more crime in society, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the judiciary should show no mercy in sending a man to the gallows or to jail for life in heinous crimes.
“Any further lenience is shown in the matter of imposition of sentence, at least in respect of capital punishment or life imprisonment, it can only be said that that will only lead to further chaos and there will be no rule of law, but only anarchy will rule the country, enabling the criminals and their gangs to dictate terms,” a majority judgment of the five-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu in the Rajiv Gandhi killers’ remission case observed on Wednesday.
The apex court was dealing with the legality of a “special category of sentence” by which constitutional courts can mandatorily send a person convicted in a heinous crime like rape, dacoity, gang-rape and terrorist crimes to imprisonment of 20 to 40 years without remission.
Under the Criminal Procedure Code, a life convict can apply for remission after serving 14 years of his sentence. The provision is reformative in nature.
This “special sentencing” for 20 to 40 years depriving prisoners of their statutory right to apply for remission was introduced in the 2008 Swami Shraddananda murder case judgment as an alternative to death penalty.
Upholding the constitutionality of such a special sentencing, Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla, who wrote the majority verdict, said such harsh measures were required to tame “heartless, hardened, money-minded, lecherous, paid assassins” who preyed on the common man and the vulnerable.
The court said remission after 14 years would only succeed in “letting loose” hardened, remorseless criminals back into society.
“Lawlessness is the order of the day… It is the hard reality that the state machinery is not able to protect or guarantee the life and liberty of the common man. Therefore, any sympathy shown will only amount to a misplaced one which the courts cannot afford to take,” the majority verdict observed.
Justice Kalifulla wrote that unless there was infrastructure to provide education and induce repentance in a criminal, prolonged periods of imprisonment without remission was an effective way to keep them away from society.
My Opinion/Conclusion on the above news: I totally concur with the Hon’ble Supreme Court bench headed by Former Chief Justice Dattu that reforming criminals has not worked for the following among my own reasons. I wholly agree with the contents(article) of December 3, 2015 news item reported by Krishnan Rajgopal and I also opine that hardcore criminals can’t be reformed for they’ve no repentance or remorse in respect of heinous crimes such as diabolical Murders, Rapes and Acts of dreaded terrorism. According to my research a majority of such hardcore criminals are psychopathic personalities with anti social personality traits which is incurable through medicines. Since these criminals lack Conscience the question of a lenient punishment such as remission of sentences as rightly said by Krishnan Rajgopal the question of reforming such hardcore and dreaded criminals doesn’t arise. .When they are violating other peoples/victims human rights of life and liberty with impunity, no question of applying human rights law to these dreaded criminals would arise by way of lenient punishment such as remission in life term in Jail. The only remedy is Capital Punishment or lifelong rigorous imprisonment for they continue to pose a danger to society at large if they are let off on bail or given remission or seeking Presidential Pardon which should be used objectively and given after examining the case thoroughly from all angles and sparingly used by President/Governor of a State.Such Conscienceless hardcore criminals are remorseless which is an incurable antisocial personality disorder. They are a drain on the exchequer and I personally feel Capital punishment is the only way out to such hardcore criminals to keep our society safe from the danger posed by them.
The above News item/report along with color photo is taken from esteemed News Paper The Hindu dated 3rd December 2015 reported by Krishnan Rajgopal. Of course opinion/conclusion is my own.