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Report No. 39

20. Kerala High Court's view.-

It appears to have been raised for the first time in Kerala soon after the amendment of the Code came into force. In Mathammal Saraswathi v. State, AIR 11957 Ker 102 the Kerala High Court observed:-

"In passing the sentence for the three murders, the lower court has not chosen to say whether the imprisonment the appellant is to undergo should be simple or rigorous. Section 302 as amended by the Schedule to the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1955 (Central Act XXVI of 1955) only states that the alternative punishment for murder shall be "imprisonment for life", and not rigorous imprisonment for life or simple imprisonment for life. The court passing the sentence has, however, to keep in view the provisions of section 60 of the Penal Code and choose one or the other form in view of all the circumstances.

"Recently we had another instance where the Sessions Judge had failed to specify whether imprisonment for life awarded by him was rigorous or simple. In that case the Inspector General of Prisons had sought our direction as to what description of imprisonment the prisoner should be made to undergo. Here, we clarify the position by stating that the imprisonment for life in this case shall be simple imprisonment, and not rigorous.".

Punishment of Imprisonment for Life under the Indian Penal Code Back

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