SC-ST Judge Alters Murder Convicts' Sentence from 10 Years to Life Imprisonment; Udaipur Bar Writes to Supreme Court for Termination

Bar advocates argue that the criminal court lacks the authority to unilaterally modify its decisions.
District & Sessions Court, Udaipur
District & Sessions Court, Udaipur

Udaipur-In a striking development that has sent ripples through the legal fraternity, office bearers of the Udaipur Bar Association have raised serious objections to the conduct of a female judge presiding over the SC-ST court. Expressing their deep reservations about the judge's decisions, the Bar members have taken the unprecedented step of submitting formal letters to both the Supreme Court and the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur demanding the termination of her services.

The letter, presented on the official letterhead of the Udaipur Bar Association, is endorsed by acting President Yogendra Dashora and Secretary Harish Sen which emphasizes specific issues regarding the judge's decisions. The lawyers body expressed dissatisfaction with a particular ruling on November 29th, where the judge sentenced two convicts to a mere 10 years of simple imprisonment for a murder case, despite the standard minimum punishment of life imprisonment for such grave offenses.

The situation took a dramatic turn when, following widespread discussion of the decision, the judge reversed it the very next day, imposing life imprisonment on the convicts. This sudden alteration was made after the judge took an application from the Special Public Prosecutor, and no objection from the defence lawyers.

Bar advocates argue that the criminal court lacks the authority to unilaterally modify its decisions. They question the judge's awareness of the provisions outlined in Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, which specifically governs sentencing in murder cases. Additionally, concerns are raised about the judge's apparent lack of knowledge regarding the limitations on reviewing decisions, especially in matters related to criminal cases.

Meanwhile, the judge attributed the alteration to a clerical error, a claim vehemently contested by the Bar Association. Advocates argue that such a self-initiated review exceeds the judge's legal authority and challenges the fundamental principles governing judicial decisions.

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