Mandatory minimum sentences - IE - 26/01/23

A CJI -led bench has decided to examine a petition challenging mandatory minimum sentencing in the case of gang rape of a minor below the age of 12.
->Mandatory minimum sentences:
-As per the 2016 ruling in ‘Mohd Hashim vs State Of UP And Others’.
The concept of mandatory minimum sentencing refers to “a sentence which must be imposed without leaving any discretion to the court. It means a quantum of punishment that cannot be reduced below the period fixed,
A concept that comes primarily from the Canadian and American legal systems; in India, such sentences are prescribed for all sexual offenses under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act except the offense of sexual harassment.

It limits the scope for judicial discretion and arbitrariness, thereby enhancing the cause of justice. It acts as a deterrent for serious or harsh offenses by ensuring that the perpetrator doesn’t go unpunished.

This leads to overcrowding of prisons and is unfair as the convict’s mitigating circumstances, such as if they are a first-time offender or the sole breadwinner in the family, are often overlooked.

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