Order dt. 09.07.2014 which restrained the State Governments from exercising the powers of remission and commutation of life sentence, modified

Supreme Court: Modifying the order dated 09.07.2014 where the State Governments were restrained from exercising their powers of remission and commutation of sentence under Sections 432 and 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to life convicts, the 5 judge bench of HL Dattu, CJ and FMI Kalifulla, PC Ghose, AM Sapre and UU Lalit, JJ said that the said order shall apply to only certain cases, namely:


  • Where life sentence has been awarded specifying that the convict shall undergo life sentence till the end of his life without remission or commutation; and the convict shall not be released by granting remission or commutation till he completes a fixed term such as 20 years or 25 years or like.
  •  Where no application for remission or commutation was preferred, or considered suo motu by the concerned State Governments/authorities.
  • Where the investigation was conducted by any Central Investigating Agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • Where the life sentence is under any central law or under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or any other similar offence.


However, it was held that the President of India and the Governors of the States may exercise their powers in this respect under Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution, respectively. Union of India v. V. Sriharan2015 SCC OnLine SC 653, decided on 23.07.2015

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