SC on tests on touchstone of which sentencing for crimes is to be analysed

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 22nd October 2019, in the matter of State of Madhya Pradesh v. Udham and Others observed  that aspect of sentencing should not be taken for granted. Sentencing for crimes has to be analyzed on the touch stone of three tests viz., crime test, criminal test and comparative proportionality test.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

There is no gainsaying that the aspect of sentencing should not be taken for granted, as this part of Criminal Justice System has determinative impact on the society.  (Para 11)

(Para 12) Sentencing for crimes has to be analyzed on the touch stone of three tests viz., crime test, criminal test and comparative proportionality test.

Crime test involves factors like extent of planning, choice of weapon, modus of crime, disposal modus (if any), role of the accused, anti­social or abhorrent character of the crime, state of victim. (Para 12) Under the crime test, seriousness needs to be ascertained. The seriousness of the crime may be ascertained by (i) bodily integrity of the victim; (ii) loss of material support or amenity; (iii) extent of humiliation; and (iv) privacy breach. (Para 13)

Criminal test involves assessment of factors such as age of the criminal, gender of the criminal, economic conditions or social background of the criminal, motivation for crime, availability of defense, state of mind, instigation by the deceased or any one from the deceased group, adequately represented in the trial, disagreement by a judge in the appeal process, repentance, possibility of reformation, prior criminal record (not to take pending cases) and any other relevant factor (not an exhaustive list). (Para 12)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_22-Oct-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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