The Supreme Court has observed that in a double murder case of JItendra Kalla, the high court cannot modify the life senstence imposed by the trial court to period already undergone.
“For the offence of murder,minimum sentence is ‘life imprisonment’. For that reason, obviously, the High Court could not have modified the sentence to the one already undergone.”
The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan said, “One thing is absolutely clear. In both the FIRs there was a charge of murder under Section 302, IPC. Conviction was recorded on both the charges by the trial court which was affirmed by the High Court as well. For the offence of murder, minimum sentence is ‘life imprisonment’. For that reason, obviously, the High Court could not have modified the sentence to the one already undergone. Therefore, modification in the aforesaid manner as done by the High Court was clearly erroneous. In fact, it appears that the High Court realised this mistake and, therefore, made amends by correcting this mistake vide orders dated February 14, 2017. However, that step taken by the High Court was beyond its jurisdiction. It could have been done only in appeal. That exercise is precisely done by this Court by setting aside that part of the order.