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NCJ Number: 41783 Find in a Library
Title: SENTENCING STRUCTURE AND POLICY IN INDIA
Journal: UNAFEI RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES  Issue:12  Dated:(OCTOBER 1976)  Pages:54-57
Author(s): M K CHAWLA
Corporate Author: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Japan
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Tokyo, Japan
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Nations
Annotation: INDIA'S SENTENCING PATTERNS ARE IDENTIFIED, SENTENCING DISPARITIES ARE UNDERSCORED, AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT SENTENCING SHOULD BE LEFT TO A BOARD OF EXPERTS IN THE SENTENCING FIELD.
Abstract: IN INDIA, PUNISHMENTS CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE FOR SPECIFIC OFFENSES ARE DETAILED IN MORE THAN 200 INDIAN STATUTES. HOWEVER, THE BULK OF THE LAW IS FOUND IN THE INDIAN PENAL CODE OF 1860. THE FRAMERS OF THE CODE PROVIDED FOR THE FOLLOWING PUNISHMENTS, IN ORDER OF GRAVITY: (1) DEATH; (2) LIFE IMPRISONMENT; (3) IMPRISONMENT; (4) FORFEITURE OF PROPERTY; AND (5) FINES. THE DEATH PENALTY MAY BE IMPOSED FOR THE FOLLOWING SIX OFFENSES: (1) WAGING WAR AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT; (2) ABETTING A COMMITTED MUTINY; (3) GIVING OR FABRICATING FALSE EVIDENCE UPON WHICH AN INNOCENT PERSON SUFFERS DEATH; (4) MURDER; (5) ABETTING THE SUICIDE OF A MINOR OR AN INSANE OR INTOXICATED PERSON; AND (6) ROBBERY ACCOMPANIED BY MURDER. LIFE IMPRISONMENT MUST OR MAY BE IMPOSED FOR SUCH CRIMES AS THUGGERY; CAUSING AN ILLICIT MISCARRIAGE; CRIMINAL BREACH OF FAITH BY A PUBLIC OFFICIAL, BANKER, MERCHANT, OR AGENT; AND HABITUALLY DEALING IN STOLEN GOODS. IMPRISONMENT IS PROVIDED FOR IN A GREAT NUMBER OF THE STATUTES. THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF IMPRISONMENT: RIGOROUS AND SIMPLE. EXEMPLARY DETERRENT SENTENCES STILL ARE IMPOSED COMMONLY FOR SUCH OFFENSES AS ABUSE OF PUBLIC TRUST, SEXUAL DEVIANCE,AND ADULTERATION OF FOOD. IN INDIA, WHITE-COLLAR CRIME HAS BEEN DEFINED AS THAT COMMITTED BY PERSONS OF RESPECTIBILITY AND HIGH SOCIAL STATUS IN THE COURSE OF THEIR OCCUPATION. THESE INCLUDE: TAX EVASION, USURY, HOARDING, PROFITEERING, BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION, AND ELECTION MALPRACTICES, AMONG OTHERS. BECAUSE OF THE DISRUPTIVE THREAT POSED BY SUCH CRIMES, IT WAS NECESSARY TO INCREASE THE MAXIMUM SANCTIONS AND CREATE MINIMUM ONES. SUBSTANTIAL STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN THE AREA OF REFORMATIVE SENTENCES. THE PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT WAS PASSED IN 1958, AND THE CHILDREN ACT FOLLOWED IN 1960. UNDER THE LATTER, BOYS UNDER 16 AND GIRLS UNDER 18 ARE INELIGIBLE FOR THE MORE SEVERE SANCTIONS, INCLUDING THE DEATH PENALTY AND LIFE IMPRISONMENT. SENTENCE APPORTIONMENT IS LEFT ENTIRELY TO THE DISCRETION OF THE JUDGES; IT HAS BEEN FOUND THAT SENTENCING PRACTICES BETWEEN JUDGES ARE GROSSLY DISPROPORTIONATE, ALTHOUGH SUCH DISPARITIES WERE THOUGHT TO BE REMEDIED BY THE INTRODUCTION OF THE 1973 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE. IT IS ARGUED THAT SENTENCING BOARDS CONSISTING OF EXPERTS SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED, THAT SHORT-TERM IMPRISONMENT FAILS TO MAKE ANY IMPRESSION ON OFFENDERS, AND THAT THE RELEASE OF AN OFFENDER SHOULD BE EFFECTED AS SOON AS THE SUBJECTIVE CONDITIONS OF RELEASE HAVE BEEN FULFILLED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): India; Judicial discretion; Judicial process; Rights at sentencing; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing/Sanctions
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=41783

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