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[Landmark Judgement] Shiva Kumar V. State of Karnataka (2023)

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Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: February 10, 2024 at 12:40 IST

Court: Supreme Court of India

Citation: Shiva Kumar V. State of Karnataka (2023)

Honourable Supreme Court of India has held Criminal Trial Court has powers to award punishment as deemed fit and justified in accordance with Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. However, it is held that Criminal Trial Court cannot impose a fixed-term sentence or modified punishment of providing any specific term of incarceration or till the end of convict’s life as an alternative to death penalty. It is held that fixed-term sentence can be awarded only by the Supreme Court of India or High Court and not by any other inferior court.

12. In a given case, while passing an order of conviction for an offence which is punishable with death penalty, the trial court may come to a conclusion that the case is not a “rarest of the rare” case. In such a situation, depending upon the punishment prescribed for the offence committed, the trial court can impose other punishment specifically provided in Section 53IPC. However, when a constitutional court finds that though a case is not falling in the category of “the rarest of the rare” case, considering the gravity and nature of the offence and all other relevant factors, it can always impose a fixed-term sentence so that the benefit of statutory remission, etc. is not available to the accused. The majority view in V. Sriharan cannot be construed to mean that such a power cannot be exercised by the constitutional courts unless the question is of commuting the death sentence.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra