The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of reducing the life sentence in comparison to the one year served as simple imprisonment and held that “the degree of brutality surrounding the occurrence may not by itself be regarded as sufficient to push the culprits into the farthest circle of "rarest of rare cases" couched by the constitution bench in Bachan Singh case (Bachan Singh v. State of Panjab, 1980 SC 586.
Appellants :Nemai Mandal & Another
Respondents:State of W.B
Citation :Criminal Appeal No. 1348-52 Of 2000 With Slp. No. 3566-70 Of 1999 | 02-03-2000
Justice K.T Thomas and Justice D.PMohapatra
When can life imprisonment be awarded instead of death penalty in the crime of murder?
- The accused and the appellantswere found guilty of committing murder of the two deceased namely Muktesh and his brother Naresh who died at the fish market near bus stand Abhay Nagar in West Bengal.
- The two deceased were taking tea at a tea shop situated at the bus-stand of Abhay Nagar during morning. Abruptly some of the assailants who reached there started firing at the two deceased.
- As they were taken aback by the blitz they made a bid to escape by running away shouting, but at that stage the remaining accused emerged from a near place and some of them fired at the deceased, while the others used lethal weapons for inflicting blows on them.
- Ultimately both the deceased died at the spot itself. Some persons among the accused threw bombs which exploded. It created shock waves of terror.
- It is further alleged that accused Nemai and accused Ram Krishna went near the deceased, and not being satisfied with the death of the deceased they chopped off the limbs of deceased Muktesh and hurled them off and made an orgy therewith.
- The trial court and the High Court considered the evidence of the eyewitnesses and found that the four accused whose conviction under Section 302 read with section 34 has been confirmed have participated in the crime and shared the common intention of murdering the deceased.
- Then, the appellant filed the appeal in SC.
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· It was contended that the death penalty shall be scrapped as the offence committed did not constitute rarest of the rare cases.
· The respondent contended that the death penalty shall be awarded to the accused and the appellant.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of reducing the life sentence in comparison to the one year served as simple imprisonment and held that “the degree of brutality surrounding the occurrence may not by itself be regarded as sufficient to push the culprits into the farthest circle of "rarest of rare cases" couched by the constitution bench in Bachan Singh case (Bachan Singh v. State of Panjab, 1980 SC 586. We, therefore, alter the sentence as for A-5 Nemai and A-1 Ram Krishna from death to imprisonment for life.Learned counsel lastly submitted that the seven accused who were convicted only under section 148 IPC have already completed more than one-year period of imprisonment. Hence, he pleaded for reducing the sentence to the period which they have already undergone. In the circumstances of the case we do not think that the sentence awarded to them (simple imprisonment for a period of three years) needs any interference.Accordingly appeals are disposed of”.
-Para 11,12,13 & 14 (Nemai Mandal & Another v. State of W.B)