Sentence  -  Sentencing guidelines  - Currently, India does not have structured sentencing guidelines that have been issued either by the legislature or the judiciary - However, the Courts have framed certain guidelines in the matter of imposition of sentence - A Judge has wide discretion in awarding the sentence within the statutory limits -   Since in many offences only the maximum  punishment is prescribed and for some offences the minimum punishment is prescribed, each Judge exercises his discretion accordingly - There cannot, therefore, be any uniformity - However, this Court has repeatedly held that  the Courts will have to take into account certain principles while  exercising  their  discretion  in  sentencing,  such  as proportionality, deterrence and rehabilitation -  In a proportionality analysis, it is necessary to assess the seriousness of an offence in order to determine the commensurate punishment for the offender - The seriousness of an offence depends, apart from other things, also upon its harmfulness -  The principle  governing  the  imposition  of  punishment  will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case -  However, the sentence should be appropriate, adequate, just, proportionate and commensurate with the nature and gravity of the crime and the manner in which the crime is committed - The gravity of the crime, motive for the crime, nature of the crime and all other attending circumstances have to be borne in mind while imposing the sentence - The Court cannot afford to be casual while imposing the sentence, inasmuch as both the crime and the criminal are equally important in the sentencing process - The Courts must see that the public does not lose confidence in the judicial system - Imposing inadequate sentences will do more harm to the justice system and may lead to a state where the victim loses confidence in the judicial system and resorts to private vengeance.



Indian Penal Code, Sections 325 and 323 – High Court reduced the sentence from 3 years’ rigorous imprisonment for the offences under Section 325, IPC and 6 months’ rigorous imprisonment under Section 323, IPC to the period already undergone of 6 days – Fight emanating from due to old enmity relating to a land dispute causing grievous injuries  -  Accused had filed appeal questioning his conviction and sentence before the High Court, but during the course of arguments he did not press the appeal filed against the judgment of conviction, praying only for reduction of sentence -  High Court accepting such request reduced the sentence to the period already undergone of 6 days - Trial Court and the High Court have taken a lenient view by convicting the accused for offences under Sections 325 and 323, IPC - Absolutely no reasons, much less valid reasons, are assigned by the High Court to impose the meagre sentence of 6 days - Such imposition of sentence by the High Court shocks the judicial conscience of this Court - It is brought to our notice that the parties have forgotten their differences and are living peacefully since 25 years, we impose a sentence of 6 months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 25,000/- against the accused -  While doing so, we have taken into consideration the aggravating as well as mitigating factors under the facts of this case.  (2018)2 SCeJ 1283


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