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Report No. 135

2.18. Point for consideration.-

The point to be considered is whether women should not be exempted from the bar imposed by section 433A. We think that such a step is required in the interests of justice and can be safely taken without any great risk to security. Removal of the bar would not mean that women sentenced to imprisonment for life will automatically be released at the expiry of 14 years or any other period. It would only mean that the power of the appropriate Government to grant remission, on the merits, under section 432 or section 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure would become exercisable.

The appropriate Government would there be free to go into the circumstances of each case. We find that section 433A has been held not to apply to persons convicted under the Borstal Schools Act1. In our view, the same approach should be adopted in regard to women, particularly because, for women, prolonged imprisonment may not only affect their mental health, but may also prejudice the welfare of the other members of the family. We may mention that in Maru Ram's case,2 the Supreme Court expressed some uneasiness about the rigid approach reflected in section 433A.

1. State of Andhra Pradesh v. Vallabhgaram Ravi, 1984 CLJ 1511 (SC)

2. Maru Ram v. Union of India, AIR 1980 SC 2147: 1980 CLJ 1440.

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