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Supreme Court on Friday reduced the sentence of a man convicted of dacoity cum murder from life imprisonment to 22 years in jail.

Shivalinga @ Shivalingayya was convicted by a trial court under Section 396 and Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code and was sentenced to death. Later, Karnataka High Court partly allowed his appeal and reduced the sentence from death penalty to imprisonment for life.

Shivalinga and the other accused in the matter had allegedly attacked the driver and cleaner of a lorry which led to the death of the cleaner.

In the appeal before the Supreme Court, it was submitted that the accused had already spent 18 years in jail and his application for the early release on remission has been rejected by the Karnataka government.

“Having gone through the entire material on record, we find that it is a heinous crime of dacoity ­cum­ murder. The appellant and other accused have not only chopped the hand of PW­3 but also committed murder of the cleaner, namely, Shivashankar. They have also committed dacoity by taking away the the tyres, jack, tarpaulin, tape recorder etc., of course, they are not so worthy. Be that as it may, it may not be proper to keep the appellant in jail forever. Hence, we heard on the point of sentence also and have taken decision consciously under the facts and circumstances of the case”, noted the division bench of Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Justice Vineet Saran.

The court further stated that the interest of justice would be met if the sentence of the accused is restricted to 22 years imprisonment instead of whole life.

While allowing the appeal partly, the bench said, “Since the appellant’s application for early release on remission is rejected, the appellant shall undergo 22 years of compulsory imprisonment. It is brought to our notice that he is still young and is about 38 years of age. Be that as it may, he may improve his conduct after coming from jail.”


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