Skip to content

Right to live with dignity cannot be deprived merely because a person is convicted: Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court Advocates for the Dignity of Life-Term Convicts

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya’s Observations on the Rights of Convicts

The Calcutta High Court recently made a significant observation regarding the rights of convicts, emphasising that individuals should not be deprived of their dignity merely due to their conviction. This observation was made by Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya while ordering the West Bengal State Sentence Review Board (WBSSRB) to reconsider granting premature release to a life-term convict.

The Case at Hand

  • The case involved a plea by a woman for the premature release of her husband, who is serving a life sentence. The WBSSRB had previously refused this request.
  • The petitioner challenged the WBSSRB’s refusal on two main grounds: improper constitution of the committee responsible for deciding on premature release, and the committee’s failure to consider Supreme Court precedents in its decision.
  • The petitioner’s husband has already spent over two decades in prison. The court acknowledged this, stating: “There cannot be any double punishment on the petitioner by refusing to reintegrate her husband in mainstream society even if he is otherwise eligible.”

The Court’s Decision

Justice Bhattacharyya, in his order, made a significant observation that has implications for modern criminal jurisprudence. He stated that the aim of punishment must be reformative rather than retributive. This reflects the Supreme Court’s previous judgments, reinforcing that the ultimate goal of imprisonment, even for serious crimes, is reform.

The Court further noted the WBSSRB’s failure to consider the conduct and behaviour of the convict in prison. It was also noted that the Board did not take into account the convict’s participation in social productive work or any further education or qualifications he might have acquired while in custody.

Given these observations, and the fact that the WBSSRB was not properly constituted, the Court directed the Board to reconsider the request for the convict’s premature release.

Implications of the Court’s Observations

The Court’s observations underscore the importance of viewing convicts with a lens of dignity and reform. This is a significant development in the realm of criminal jurisprudence, indicating a shift towards a more humane understanding of punishment and rehabilitation. The Court’s decision and the principles it upholds have the potential to impact future cases and policy decisions.

Advocates Kaushik Gupta, Anirban Tarafder, Daniel Sarkar, and Sahel Tusu represented the petitioner, while Advocates Sirsanya Bandopadhyay and Arka Kr Nag represented the state.




Contact Us

Contact Form Demo (#5) (#6)

Recent Posts

Trending Topics

Visit Us

Bhatt & Joshi Associates
Office No. 311, Grace Business Park B/h. Kargil Petrol Pump, Epic Hospital Road, Sangeet Cross Road, behind Kargil Petrol Pump, Sola, Sagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380060

Chat with us | Bhatt & Joshi Associates Call Us NOW! | Bhatt & Joshi Associates