Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Guidelines by SC for enhancement of Punishment in heinous offences impacting over other people with social consequences

While adjudicating Criminal Appeals No.1533 and 1534 of 2005 between Soman v/s State of Kerala, the Division Bench of Hon'ble Justice Mr. Aftab Alam, and Hon'ble Mrs. Rajana Prakash Desai of Supreme Court of India has unequivocally confirmed and justified the verdicts of the Keral High Court for the enhancement in punishment of the maker and manufacturers of the spurious liquor, and the distributors and suppliers of the killer brew and the retail vendors who sold the stuff to the consumers, in the matters of the horrible death of 31 people, along with the complete loss of vision of six people, and serious illness to more than 500 people, occurred as a result of consuming spurious liquor, contaminated with methyl alcohol at different places in Kollam district, Kerala in October 2000. Taking into the account the relevancy and consideration of the social consequences of a culpable act and its impact on other people, the Hon'ble Apex Court has defined a new Guideline for the lower courts to base sentencing decisions on various different rationales – most prominent amongst which would be proportionality and deterrence, further observing that: " The question of consequences of criminal action can be relevant from both a proportionality and deterrence standpoint. Insofar as proportionality is concerned, the sentence must be commensurate with the seriousness or gravity of the offence.One of the factors relevant for judging seriousness of the offence is the consequences resulting from it." The Apex Court also noted further that "Giving punishment to the wrongdoer is at the heart of the criminal justice delivery, but in our country, it is the weakest part of the administration of criminal justice. There are no legislative or judicially laid down guidelines to assist the trial court in meting out the just punishment to the accused facing trial before it after he is held guilty of the charges."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts on our Law Office Blogs