The Supreme Court of India held that a life convict cannot claim to have a right to be released after spending 14 years behind the bars. A bench of P Sathasivam and J S Khehar ruled that life imprisonment means imprisonment for whole life and only the President and the Governors can remit the sentence and allow the convict to be released. The bench, however, stated that in those cases the government should take into account the gravity of offence while remitting the sentence.
The court passed the order on a plea of a convict, who was awarded death sentence by trial court but was commuted into life imprisonment by Gauhati High Court, seeking direction to release him on the ground that he spent 14 years behind the bars. He was convicted in the rape-cum-murder case of a 22-year-old girl in 2000.