Md. Alfaz Ali vs The State Of Assam on 14 September, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Md. Alfaz Ali vs The State Of Assam on 14 September, 2021

Author: L. Nageswara Rao

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai

                                                     Non-Reportable

                IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                 EXTRA ORDINARY JURISDICTION

         Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.6220 of 2018

 MD. ALFAZ ALI
                                               .... Petitioner (s)
                                 Versus

 THE STATE OF ASSAM
                                              …. Respondent (s)

                                With

         Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 7110 of 2018

                            O R D E R

1. On 31.10.2006, a complaint was filed by Md. Abdul Jalil son

of Kalu Khan, resident of village Kareyia Pahar to Officer-in-

Charge of Police Station Jogighopa, District Bongaigaon alleging

that his daughter Marzina Begum was killed by the Petitioner,

who is her husband. The Petitioner was convicted under Section

302 IPC and was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for

life. The appeal filed by the Petitioner challenging the conviction

and sentence was dismissed by the High Court by a judgment

dated 15.07.2016, aggrieved by which this Special Leave Petition

is filed.

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2. Notice was issued on 27.07.2018, restricted to the question

of propriety of specifying rigorous imprisonment while imposing

life sentence.

3. We are informed by the learned Counsel for the State that

the Petitioner was released on annual leave of 30 days on

17.02.2020 but he did not surrender after expiry of leave on

18.03.2020. An FIR was lodged on 19.03.2020 at Jogighopa

Police Station under Section 224 IPC. The Petitioner surrendered

on 28.05.2020 and he has undergone sentence of about nine

years till date.

Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 7110 of 2018)

4. The Petitioner has filed the above SLP assailing the

judgment of the High Court by which his conviction and sentence

under Section 302 IPC was upheld.

5. According to the prosecution, the Petitioner killed his wife on

the suspicion of her infidelity. On 24.08.2018, notice was issued

by this Court on the question of propriety of specifying rigorous

imprisonment while imposing life sentence.

6. As limited notice was issued in both the SLPs, we heard

arguments on the point of rigorous imprisonment while convicting

a person under Section 302 IPC. Mr. A. Sirajudeen, learned

Senior Counsel appearing for the Petitioner in SLP (Crl.) No.6220

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of 2018, submitted that the issue is no more res integra as it is

covered by a judgment of this Court in Naib Singh v. State of

Punjab & Ors.1

7. Mr. Ajay Marwah, learned counsel appearing for the

Petitioner in SLP Crl. No.7110 of 2018, made an attempt to

distinguish the judgment in Naib Singh (supra). Mr. Debojit

Borkakati, learned counsel appearing for the State of Assam,

relied upon the judgment of this Court in Dilpesh Balchandra

Panchal v. State of Gujarat2 to submit that the arguments that

are advanced in these cases have been considered by this Court

earlier and were rejected.

8. In Naib Singh (supra) the Petitioner was originally

sentenced to death for committing an offence of murder under

Section 302 IPC. Later, the death sentence was commuted to

imprisonment for life by the Government of Punjab. After having

undergone sentence of 22 years, Naib Singh filed a Writ Petition

under Article 32 of the Constitution of India challenging his

continued detention. One of the points argued by the Petitioner

relates to sentence of imprisonment for life not to be equated to

rigorous imprisonment for life. By taking into account the earlier

judgments of this Court in Pandit Kishori Lal v. King Emperor 3

1
(1983) 2 SCC 454
2
(1992) 4 SCC 172
3
AIR 1945 PC 64

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and Gopal Vinayak Godse v. State of Maharashtra
4, this

Court in Naib Singh’s case held that the sentence of imprisonment

for life has to be equated to rigorous imprisonment for life. The

law laid down by this Court in Naib Singh’s was followed by this

Court in three judgments Dilpesh Balchandra Panchal v. State

of Gujarat, Sat Pal alias Sadhu v. State of Haryana 5 and

Mohd. Munna v. Union of India6.

9. In view of the authoritative pronouncements of this Court on

the issues that arise for consideration in these SLPs, there is no

need to re-examine the limited point for which notice was issued.

10. Therefore, the Special Leave Petitions are dismissed.

…………………………..J.

[L. NAGESWARA RAO]

..……………………….J.

[ B.R. GAVAI ]
New Delhi,
September 14, 2021.

4
1961 3 SCR 440
5
(1992) 4 SCC 172
6
(2005) 7 SCC 417

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