Report No. 39
16. No change intended in nature of punishment.-
From the above citation it would appear that Parliament did not intend to make any material change in the nature of the punishment formerly known as transportation for life by calling it imprisonment for life. We have already noticed the judgments of the Privy Council and of the Supreme Court which make it clear that even before formal abolition of transportation to the Andamans, persons sentenced to transportation for life were, and could lawfully be, dealt with in the same manner as persons sentenced to rigorous imprisonment.
If this position was neither changed, nor intended to be changed, by the Act of 1955, the statement of the Joint Committee that "as a form of punishment, imprisonment for life must remain distinct from rigorous or simple imprisonment" is difficult to follow. In what way is it distinct, apart from its duration? It cannot, in practice, be distinguished from a sentence of rigorous imprisonment.