New Delhi, July 19: The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday ruled that a convict cannot be handed two life sentences. A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur held that a convict cannot undergo two life sentences.
The Bench also held that a convict can be given a term sentence and then followed up with a life sentence.
However, this cannot be awarded in the reverse the Bench further stated. The Bench also held that in a heinous case courts can award a fixed sentence and then a life term.
The court had in February reserved its order in a case in which it was to decide if multiple life sentences awarded to convicts should run consecutively or concurrently. The Bench was asked to decide on the manner in which multiple life sentences were to be executed.
The case on hand was an appeal filed by Muthuramalingam and 16 members of his family convicted by the Madhurai bench of Madras High Court for plotting and killing his wife and seven of her relatives. The court had awarded them consecutive sentences of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for attempt to murder and eight life sentences for murder and criminal conspiracy.
The advocate for the convict sought to know how his client should serve out 8 life sentences.
"How can he serve such a sentence, does he have 8 lives," the counsel had contended in the Supreme Court.