CHENNAI: Victims of a crime do not have a right to personal hearing, while deciding the remission of convicts of a crime, ordered the Madras High Court on Saturday. “Even such convicts do not have the right to be personally heard in matters of remission,” the court observed while rejecting a plea moved by a victim whose son and brother were killed during a gang war in Puducherry, in 2004.
The first bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, while disposing of the order observed: “Authorities do not conduct a hearing, as the convicts don’t have a right of being personally heard in matters of remission.
There is, therefore, no justification for the appellants to claim personal hearing when the convicts themselves are evenly placed in the matter of such consideration by the authority concerned.”During the gang war, both sides suffered casualties and two persons were sentenced to life imprisonment on murder charges. However, the application for an early remission by both convicts was moved before a seven member committee in Puducherry.
On providing equal opportunity to both, the bench said, “The scales of opportunity to be offered to the convict and the victim have to be evenly balanced. Remission to be considered is a discretion to be exercised as per some settled parameters. The convict has only an opportunity for consideration for premature release as it touches upon the concept of liberty.”