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Life imprisonment is jail for entire life: apex court

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 13, 2013
First Published: 23:43 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:22 IST(14/2/2013)

Notwithstanding jail manuals prescribing remission of sentence, a convicted criminal sentenced to life imprisonment will have to spend his entire life in jail.

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A bench of Justice Sathasivam and Justice JS Khehar rejected a convict's contempt petition in which he sought action against West Bengal authorities for not granting him remission under the West Bengal Jail Code even as he had completed 20 years in jail.

The court said the convict cannot take advantage of a provision under the code and seek a pre-mature release if the state government refuses to grant remission.

"To put it clear, once a person is sentenced to undergo life imprisonment, unless imprisonment for life is commuted by the competent authority, he has to undergo imprisonment for the whole of his life," the bench said.

The court added that the provision of remission under the state jail code did not state that a life imprisonment convict has to be released after completion of 20 years in jail.

The bench's directive came on a contempt petition filed by Prasanta Sen who had earlier moved the apex court seeking a directive to the West Bengal government asking it to release him as he had completed 20 years in jail.

Sen has cited the West Bengal Jail Code for relief.


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