The Madras High Court has taken a serious view of a sessions judge awarding lesser punishment to two murder convicts instead of death or life imprisonment as provided in the statute, and sought an explanation within three days.
Justices S Vaidyanathan and N Anand Venkatesh of the Madurai Bench said the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 302 (punishment for murder) specifically provided that whoever committed the offence of murder should be punished with death or imprisonment for life and also shall be liable to pay fine.
"This is a rudimentary principle of law that a sessions judge is supposed to possess. It is shocking that a person holding the post of a sessions judge has sentenced the accused persons for 10 years and seven years, respectively after convicting them under 302 IPC," the bench said.
It was hearing an appeal filed by the two accused challenging the order of District and Sessions Judge of Virudhungar convicting them of murder and sentencing them to seven and 10 years rigorous imprisonment. The court directed the sessions judge to submit a report positively on October 21.