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Consecutive life terms 'irrational': SC

Consecutive life terms ‘irrational’: SC

An offender cannot be directed to undergo two life sentences consecutively as that would be “anomalous” and “irrational” and will disregard the fact that “humans like all other living beings have but one life to live”, the Supreme Court today said.

The apex court, however, said that multiple sentences for imprisonment for life can be awarded for multiple murders or other offences punishable with imprisonment for life but such sentences needs to be superimposed over each other so that any remission or commutation granted in one does not ipso facto result in remission of the sentence awarded to the prisoner for the other.

“We hold that while multiple sentences for imprisonment for life can be awarded for multiple murders or other offences punishable with imprisonment for life, the life sentences so awarded cannot be directed to run consecutively.

“Such sentences would, however, be superimposed over each other so that any remission or commutation granted by the competent authority in one does not ipso facto result in remission of the sentence awarded to the prisoner for the other,” the five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.

It said, “Any direction that requires the offender to undergo imprisonment for life twice over would be anomalous and irrational for it will disregard the fact that humans like all other living beings have but one life to live.”

The verdict came on the appeals filed by Muthuramalingam and others who were tried for several offences, including multiple murders in a single incident and were sentenced for varying sentences, including life sentence for each of the murders which were directed to run consecutively.

The result of sentencing was such that Muthuramalingam and others were to undergo consecutive life sentences ranging between two to eight such sentences depending upon the number of murders committed by them.

(Source : PTI)


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