The SC refers to a case in which five judges formed guidelines on mitigating circumstances for the death penalty

The Supreme Court on Monday referred to the five-judge Constitution bench for a suo motu appeal to the framing of guidelines for the manner and time in which potential mitigating factors should be assessed in court during the trial of cases that impose execution as the highest punishment.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said it was of the view that this case required a hearing by a broader bench to ensure clarity and a uniform approach to the time when an accused, who is facing the death penalty as the maximum punishment, has to be heard according to the circumstances that may mitigate.

“Let the matter be placed before the CJI for orders in this regard,” Justice S Ravindra Bhat declared in announcing the verdict.

The death sentence is irrevocable and every chance should be offered to the person being tried for the consideration of a variety of circumstances so that the court can conclude that capital punishment isn’t justifiable, the bench noted when reserving its verdict on the 17th of August.

The highest court took note of the situation and stated that it was urgent to ensure that mitigation situations for convicting of crimes that could result in the death penalty are taken into account in the course of the trial.

The case was named “Framing Guidelines Regarding Potential Mitigating Circumstances to be Considered While Imposing Death Sentences”.

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