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Report No. 39

28. Recommendation.-

We are accordingly of the view that the best course will be to provide categorically in the Indian Penal Code that "imprisonment for life shall be rigorous". As indicated by the transitional provisions made in section 53A and the statement in the Joint Committee's Report, the intention of Parliament was not to make any material change in the pre-existing position which was to treat persons sentenced to transportation for life as if they had been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. We recommend that, after section 55A of the Code, the following section be inserted:-

"56. Imprisonment for life to be rigorous.-Imprisonment for life shall be rigorous.".

29. Finally, while our present proposal is limited to the immediate problem of resolving the doubts that have arisen as regards the nature of this punishment, we have noted for future consideration the question whether it is at all necessary even in regard to capital offences and whether it should be retained without modification in regard to the numerous other offences now so punishable. It strikes one as extremely anomalous that an offence like sedition should be punishable with either imprisonment for life or with rigorous or simple imprisonment which may extend to three years, but not more. These questions will have to be considered when the Indian Penal Code is taken up for revision.

K.V.K. Sundaram,

S.S. Dulat,

B.N. Lokur,

Mrs. Anna Chandi,

S. Balakrishnan,

P.M. Bakshi,

Joint Secretary and Legislative Counsel.

New Delhi,

Dated: 4th July, 1968.

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