Severity of offence shouldn’t be only guiding factor in remission call: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court highlights the need to strike a balance between judicial and executive perspectives while assessing remission applications, emphasizing that overreliance on the presiding judge's opinion may jeopardize the government's decision.

The court underscores Section 432(1) and (2) of the CrPC, which grants the government the authority to suspend or remit sentences of convicts, and mandates seeking the presiding judge's opinion before making a decision.

The story centers around Rajo Mandal, a Bihar resident convicted of murdering three individuals, including police personnel. He challenges the rejection of his remission application after serving 24 years in custody.

The court highlights the importance of considering multiple opinions – from the presiding judge, probation officer, and superintendent of police – before deciding on a remission application.

The court explains that while the presiding judge's opinion is crucial, it should not be the sole determinant, as it is based on the judicial record and might not reflect the convict's progress and rehabilitation.

The court clarifies that while sentencing is a judicial exercise, the subsequent execution of the sentence, including remission, is an executive function. This power is rooted in the Constitution's Articles 72 and 161.

The court reminds that Section 432(2) of the CrPC was deemed mandatory by a previous verdict, emphasizing the presiding judge's role in preventing arbitrary exercise of executive power.

The court warns against mechanically following the presiding judge's opinion, stressing that remission should be a reward for reformation, not just an adherence to judicial findings.

The court advises the government to consider all opinions, including that of the presiding judge, while keeping the primary objective of remission in mind: the offender's reformation.

The court's decision prompts the remission board to revisit Mandal's case within three months. It also calls for the presiding judge's opinion, while considering the latent prejudices in cases involving law enforcement victims.


Where Passion Meets The Legal World

For collaborations, reach out to us at

Thank You