There is no mandatory provision to hear the convict on a separate date on sentence

In a recent Judgment rendered by three learned Judges of this Court in B.A. Umesh v. High Court of Karnataka, (2016) 9 SCALE 600, the facts were more or less similar, in that no separate date for hearing on sentence was given after recording conviction. Para 8 of that decision of this Court is quoted for ready reference:-

“8. In addition to above, it is contended on behalf of the petitioner (Review Applicant) that since no separate date for hearing on sentence was given in the present case by the trial court, as such for violation of Section 235(2) Cr.P.C., the sentence of death cannot be affirmed. We have considered the argument of Ms. Suri. It is true that the convict has a right to be heard before sentence. There is no mandate in Section 235(2) Cr.P.C. to fix separate date for hearing on sentence. It depends on the facts and circumstances as to whether a separate date is required for hearing on sentence or parties feel convenient to argue on sentence on the same day. Had any party pressed for separate date for hearing on the sentence, or both of them wanted to be heard on some other date, situation could have been different. In the present case, the parties were heard on sentence by both the courts below, and finally by this Court, as is apparent from the Judgment under review. As such, merely for the reason that no separate date is given for hearing on the sentence, the Review Petition cannot be allowed.”

Supreme Court then relied on the principle laid down in Dagdu v. State of Maharashtra  which was followed subsequently by another Bench of three learned Judges in Tarlok Singh v. State of Punjab, (1977) 3 SCC 218. In the circumstances, merely because no separate date was given for hearing on sentence, the entire exercise cannot be flawed or vitiated.


Categories: Criminal

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