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