Life sentence means rigorous imprisonment: Supreme Court

The bench reiterated a 1983 judgment which held that “there is no dearth of judicial precedents where, in the matter of nature of punishment, imprisonment for life has been regarded as equivalent to rigorous imprisonment for life."

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that sentence of life imprisonment means rigorous imprisonment and not simple imprisonment, stating there was no need to reexamine the position of the law on the matter, Bar & Bench reported.

A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai was hearing two appeals in the judgments of the Himachal Pradesh High Court and Gauhati High Court.

The bench reiterated a 1983 judgment in Naib Singh vs State of Punjab, which held that there is no dearth of judicial precedents where, in the matter of nature of punishment, imprisonment for life has been regarded as equivalent to rigorous imprisonment for life.”

“It will have to be held that the position in law as regards the nature of punishment involved in a sentence if imprisonment for life is well settled and the sentence of imprisonment for life has to be equated to rigorous imprisonment for life,” the judgment further read.

Subsequently in 1992, the top court had in another case, accepted the 1983 judgment and did not refer the issue to a larger bench.

On Tuesday, the SC bench dismissed the present pleas, holding that the issue does not need reconsideration.

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