Inform accused before enhancing sentence: SC to HCs
One-liner: The SC has said that HCs are required to give notice to the accused before enhancing sentences so that they get an opportunity to defend their case.
HC order set aside: A bench set aside an order of the Rajasthan HC which had awarded life term to the accused in a murder case.
- The top court noted that it was the appellants who had challenged their conviction by way of an appeal before the HC
No appeal from State: It also took into account that the State had not appealed against the order of the Sessions Judge not to award the death penalty to the appellants.
No way to defend: ``As a result of the judgment and order of the HC, the sentence awarded to the appellants has been enhanced without the appellants having an opportunity to defend their case,'' the bench said.
Rarest of rare cases: The apex court was hearing a plea filed by two accused challenging an order of the Rajasthan HC which observed that the case against the present appellant fell within the category of rarest of the rare cases.
Failure of trial court: It was further held that the trial court has failed in not considering the present case to be falling in the category of rarest of the rare cases for the purpose of awarding the death sentence.
Direction: The HC had directed that the appellants shall undergo imprisonment for the rest of their life for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the IPC.