Govt for a uniform sentencing policy by courts
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 07, 2010, 22:19
New Delhi: Amidst a debate over various courts handing down different sentences for the same crime, government on Thursday favoured a uniform sentencing policy.

"We are working on the uniform sentencing policy which is on the lines of the ones in place in the United States and the United Kingdom," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI here.

He indicated the policy would be presented in Parliament saying "Parliament is supreme".

He said the proposed policy will ensure that judges do not hand down varied sentences but follow the standards "laid down" under the proposed uniform sentencing policy.

Asked whether he was referring to reduction of death sentence to life imprisonment in Priyadarshini Mattoo rape-and-murder case, Moily said he was not commenting on the decision of the Supreme Court. "How can I comment on the judgement of the Supreme Court?" he said adding the work on the policy had begun long back.

The SC had yesterday commuted the death sentence of accused Santosh Kumar Singh in the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case.

The apex court bench comprising Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad upheld the conviction of Singh, the then a law college student of Delhi University, for killing and raping Mattoo, but reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment, saying certain things were in his favour.

The US follows Federal Sentencing Guidelines which are rules that set out a uniform sentencing policy for individuals and organisations convicted of felonies and serious misdemeanours.

In 2003, the United Kingdom had created the Sentencing Guidelines Council which gives guidance to courts of England and Wales with respect to sentencing.


First Published: Thursday, October 07, 2010, 22:19

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