Explained | Seven years of rigorous imprisonment for terror funding.., What is rigorous imprisonment?

A special NIA (National Investigation Agency) court in Bengaluru has convicted three persons linked to a Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh for a series of robberies carried out in Bengaluru in 2020 allegedly for raising funds for terrorist activities.

The three accused – identified as Najir Sheikh aka Sohail (25), Habibur Rahaman SK aka Hussain (28), and Mosaraf Hossain aka Moosa (22) – all of whom hail from West Bengal, have been sentenced to a prison term of seven years of rigorous imprisonment on charges of terrorism under the UAPA and dacoity under the Indian Penal Code, in two separate cases registered in Bengaluru in 2020.

In another case, the Additional Special Judge for CBI cases, Hyderabad, has sentenced C Naryanaswamy, former Branch Manager, Bank of Maharashtra, Khairatabad Branch in Hyderabad, to seven years of rigorous imprisonment with a bank loan fraud case of over Rs. 44 Lakh.

Meanwhile, a court of the Special Judge (POCSO) in West Khasi Hills has sentenced a man to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment for a rape he allegedly committed last year. In a verdict passed yesterday, the court convicted Kelding Thongni under section 6 POCSO Act, 2012 and also three months simple imprisonment under section 428 CrPC, and was ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 50,000. Thongni committed the crime at Mawlan B in West Khasi Hills on August 14, 2021.

What is Rigorous Imprisonment?

According to retired Delhi Police ACP Ved Bhushan, the definition of rigorous imprisonment is found in Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code, which categorises the nature of punishment for convicts. The provision defines rigorous imprisonment as ‘imprisonment with hard labour (which is hard physical work that convicts have to do as punishment for a crime).

How is rigorous imprisonment different from regular imprisonment?

Mr. Bhushan informed The Quotes that a punishment in which the offender is confined to jail only and not subjected to any hard labour is termed regular imprisonment.

Offences under sections 341 (Whoever wrongfully restrains any person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with a fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 307 (Murder attempt), 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC.

Meanwhile, convicts punished under Section 392 (punishment for robbery), 399 (Preparing to commit dacoity), 401 (Punishment for belonging to a gang of thieves) and 402 (Assembling to commit dacoity) of IPC are subjected to undergo rigorous imprisonment.

Is life imprisonment equivalent to rigorous imprisonment?

While ruling against two judgements of the Gauhati and Himachal Pradesh high courts, the Supreme Court of India observed that a sentence of life imprisonment would mean rigorous imprisonment and not simple imprisonment.

The court ruling came while listerning to appeals against the two judgments of the Gauhati and Himachal Pradesh high courts which up help the conviction of the accused on the charge of murder and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for life.

“The position in law in regards with the nature of punishment…is well settled and the sentence of imprisonment for life has to be equated to rigorous imprisonment for life,” SC concluded.

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