Shivkumar is the first convicted in Karnataka to serve his entire life in prison without any chances of parole. The Supreme Court had awarded this alternative to death sentence to Shraddhananda convicted in Shakira murder case. The latter had challenged the death sentence awarded by the trial court, which was confirmed by the High Court also. Special Public Prosecutor Chandramouli, who had argued the Shraddhananda case said the complete sentence would mean to languish in prison for the rest of life.
“Section 433A CrPC provides for the State to reduce the sentence to a maximum of 14 years. However in this case, the remission power has been taken away,” he said.
The new law came out with the Shraddhananda’s appeal in which a balance between life and death has been struck, explained Chandramouli. Senior counsel M T Nanaiah explaining the difference between the life sentence and complete life sentence said that in the former, a convict can be released under extraordinary conditions upon advice. This is contemplated even under the Karnataka Prisons Act, where the convicts will be released after observing their behaviour, he said.
Naniah said Pratibha’s murder was not a rarest of the rare case, if quantum of punishment was considered. According to him the rarest of rare case gets death sentence. “ This is near rarest case and hence this order,” he said. He said this is the second such verdict barring Shraddananda case and the first one by a sessions court.