Mandatory Minimum Sentences

The concept of mandatory minimum sentences is common in American and Canadian legal systems. Recently, the Canadian Apex court announced that it is to stop pronouncing mandatory minimum sentences. Mandatory minimum sentences are judgments that do not leave discretion to the court. Meaning the punishment cannot be reduced in the future.

What are Mandatory Minimum Sentences?

In simple terms, the judgments in which the level of punishment cannot be reduced in the future are called mandatory minimum sentences. Say, a Supreme Court judge pronounced five years of punishment to a convict. Usually, the convict may appeal to the court for a reduction in punishment after a year or after six months of imprisonment. The court checks if his conduct has changed and based on his realization, it agrees to reduce his punishment. This is called a mandatory minimum sentence.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence in India

The Chief Justice of India recently challenged a petition related to mandatory minimum sentences. The petition requested the Supreme Court to reduce the punishment of the convicts arrested in a gang rape (of a minor girl of 12 years of age).

2016 ruling of SC of India

In 2016, Mohd Hasim vs State of UP case of Supreme Court defined mandatory minimum as a sentence that does not leave any discretion to the court.

Indian Laws related to MMS

MMS applies to all the offenses booked under the POCSO Act, that is, Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act except sexual harassment.



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