Constitution bench to decide on mitigating factors

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday called for placing a matter before a larger Constitution bench to frame guidelines for the courts to consider regarding mitigating factors in cases of death penalty.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit passed the verdict.

The court underlined the need to have uniform guidelines on the mitigating circumstances in favour of the convicts.

It said so while taking a suo motu case of a death penalty of a convict Irfan, challenging the death penalty imposed on him by a trial court and confirmed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

A death sentence is irreversible and every opportunity should be given to the accused for consideration of mitigating circumstances, the apex court had observed while reserving its verdict on August 17.

The top court had taken note of the issue saying that there was an urgent need to ensure that the mitigating circumstances for conviction of offences that carry the possibility of a death sentence are considered at the trial stage.

The case was heard by the Supreme Court as “Framing Guidelines Regarding Potential Mitigating Circumstances” to be considered.

The suo motu case has been registered to examine and institutionalise the process involved in the collection of data and information to decide the award of the death penalty.


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