Report No. 135
2.15. Section 432, Cr. P.C., 1973.-
We now come to the duration of imprisonment with special reference to a sentence of imprisonment for life. Ordinarily, imprisonment for life works out to imprisonment for a particular number of years, and, until the insertion of section 433A in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (by Act No. 45 of 1978), the matter remained in the discretion of the Government under section 432 of the Code.
Section 432 empowers the appropriate Government, inter alia, to suspend or remit sentences, conditionally or otherwise. Of course, remission cannot be claimed as a matter of legal right1. But, in practice, the net effect of remissions granted by the State Government was such that life imprisonment came to be reduced to about 10 to 12 years imprisonment. The position was substantially changed when in 1978, section 433A found its way into the Code.
1. Shambhaji, (1974) 1 SCC 196.