Every case coming for hearing is important in the apex court of the land in its own sense but some cases become landmark because they set a precedent that affects many lives, that touches a broad spectrum of mindsets and that brings fundamental changes.

The Supreme Court of India had such an important case listed today for hearing.

It was to decide about ‘duration of life sentence’.

Presently, in India, life sentence means life in jail till death. The Supreme Court upheld this in a judgment in November 2012. The apex court said, “It appears to us there is a misconception that a prisoner serving a life sentence has an indefeasible right to be released on completion of either fourteen years or twenty years imprisonment. The prisoner has no such right.”

And it should be the outcome, in every such case, irrespective of the petitions filed. A life sentence should mean ‘life in jail till one is alive’. That is the principle of justice.

That is ‘rightful justice’ served. ‘Awarding death sentence’ is certainly debatable and many countries have abolished capital punishment from their legal system.

And certainly, a life imprisonment with ‘life till death’ in jail a tougher punishment. Taking a life can only be compensated by making someone feel some of the pain of the victims of the ghastly crime.

Though, the Supreme Court has already upheld its decision and has expressed so in cases earlier, it was an important day because an observation/an order on the similar lines would be re-assertion of the just stand taken earlier.

There was no update today on the matter. Let’s see what happens when it comes for hearing next.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –