Supreme Court: Life Imprisonment means Rigorous Imprisonment

Custodial Death

Greeva Garg –

Published on: September 15, 2021 at 09:15 IST

The Supreme Court of India recapitulated the view taken by the Apex Court in a 1983 Judgment, stating, the sentence of life imprisonment to a convict will mean rigorous imprisonment. 

While disposing of two Special Leave Petitions (SLPs), the Division Bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai stated that there is no need to reexamine the settled position of law.

“In view of the authoritative pronouncements of this Court on the issues that arise for consideration in these SLPs, there is no need to re-examine the limited point for which notice was issued,” the Court stated.

The two SLPs were filed challenging the Judgments, one from Himachal Pradesh High Court and another from Gauhati High Court, where the convicts were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life for murdering their wives.

The appeals had mentioned the 2018 notice of the Apex Court which questioned the binding rigorous imprisonment when imposing the life sentence.

The Bench quashed its 2018 notice and cited the case of Naib Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors (1983) for settling the issue.

In the 1983 Judgment of Naib Singh v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court had held that, “There is no dearth of judicial precedents where, in the matter of nature of punishment, imprisonment for life has been regarded as equivalent to rigorous imprisonment for life. It will have to be held that the position in law regards the nature of punishment involved in a sentence if imprisonment for life is well settled and the sentence of imprisonment for life has to be equated to rigorous imprisonment for life.”

The Court refused to reconsider the issue in the view of cited Judgment and dismissed both the present pleas.

Click here to read/download the Order

Also Read: When can a prisoner be released early?

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