NEW DELHI: underlining the lack of uniformity in the approach and the differences of opinion on how to proceed and analyze the mitigating circumstances, while assigning Death penalty to a convicted by the courts, the Supreme Court On Monday he referred the matter to a Constitution tribunal made up of five judges for a full and authoritative judgment.
A tribunal of UU Supreme Court President Lalit and Judges S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted in its order that in some cases the courts summarily issued the death sentence on the same day as a defendant’s conviction, thus denying the defense of record the attenuating considerations to convince the court that the offender did not deserve the death penalty. The court also stated that the apical court had stated that such a lower court order cannot be overturned simply by the fact that the sentencing and sentencing orders were issued on the same day.

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Noting that there has been a divergence of opinion among previous top court seats on how much time would be “enough” for a convict to present their case against a death sentence and what the procedure should be for assessing extenuating circumstances , the court said it was necessary to have clarity on the matter and ordered that the case could be referred to the chief judge to establish a larger court for it.
The verdict came against the background of concerns expressed by legal experts and judges about the lack of unanimity on how to define the “mitigating factors” under which the death penalty can be commuted.
“It is also a fact that in all cases in which the imposition of the death penalty is a choice of sentence, the aggravating circumstances would always be recorded and would form part of the evidence of the accusation, leading to conviction, while it is not possible to wait for the accused to enter the extenuating circumstances in the report, as the stage to do so is after the conviction. This places the inmate at a hopeless disadvantage, tipping the scales heavily against him. This Court is of the opinion that clarity is needed on the matter to ensure a uniform approach on the issue of granting real and meaningful opportunities, as opposed to a formal hearing, the defendant / convict, on the issue of judgment, the bench said.
He stated that the apex court in its various judgments recognized that the accused must be granted a “meaningful, real and effective” hearing, with the possibility to add material pertinent to the conviction issue. The court, however, said that the question of what constitutes “sufficient time” at the court stage has not yet been addressed by the court.
“clear conflict of opinion”
The court also said that the apex court had also held that such a lower court order cannot be overturned simply on the grounds that the sentencing and sentencing orders were issued on the same day. The verdict came against the background of concerns expressed by legal experts and judges about the lack of unanimity on how to define the “mitigating factors” under which the death penalty can be commuted.
“It is also a fact that in all cases in which the imposition of the death penalty is a choice of sentence, the aggravating circumstances would always be recorded and would form part of the evidence of the accusation, leading to conviction, while it is not possible to wait for the accused to enter the extenuating circumstances in the report, as the stage to do so is after the conviction. This places the inmate at a hopeless disadvantage, tipping the scales heavily against him. This Court is of the opinion that clarity is needed on the matter to ensure a uniform approach on the issue of granting real and meaningful opportunities, as opposed to a formal hearing, the defendant / convict, on the issue of judgment, the bench said.
He stated that the apex court in its various judgments recognized that the accused must be granted a “meaningful, real and effective” hearing, with the possibility to add material pertinent to the conviction issue. The court, however, added that the question of what constitutes “sufficient time” at the court stage has not yet been addressed by the court. “What is conspicuously absent is the consideration and contemplation of the time this may take. In cases where it was considered that the real and effective hearing could not have been given (due to the sentence on the same date), this judge found that the defect had been remedied on appeal (or under review), granting the defendant a chance to adduce material, and thus fulfilling the mandate of Section 235 (2), “the bench said.
He said there was a clear conflict of opinion between the decisions of two banks of three judges on the matter and granting a separate hearing to a convict is an important safeguard to support the imposition of the death sentence in cases. rarer.



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