24 June 2019


Supreme Court

P.N. Mohanan Nair Vs. State of Kerala




Substantive sentences imposed upon Appellant in three separate prosecutions, are to run concurrently

In facts of present case, Appellant was a Peon in office of Sub Registrar, Vazhoor. He was alleged to have misappropriated Rs. 92,225/- from public funds during 1995-1996, without making remittance in Sub Treasury, creating false challans showing remittance. Prosecution initiated under Sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act,1988 and under Sections 409, 465 and 471 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), was split up in three different cases. Three cases were tried jointly and common evidence was recorded.

Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, Thrissur, by a common judgment convicted Appellant to one year rigorous imprisonment under Sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) of the Act in each one of them, along with fine. Conviction was further under Section 409 of IPC to one year rigorous imprisonment in each, as also three months rigorous imprisonment each, under Sections 465 and 471 of IPC. Substantive sentences in each case were directed to run concurrently. Short question of law for consideration is, if offences essentially constitute a single transaction, but have been split up by prosecution into three separate cases, will sentences imposed individually, run concurrently or consecutively.

Essentially, allegations constituted a single transaction, between same parties for a block period, split up by prosecution, presumably for its convenience, into three different cases. Evidence also was common, and so is conviction. Section 427(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.PC) stipulates that, where a person undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment, it shall commence at expiration of imprisonment previously sentenced, unless Court directs that, subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with such previous sentence. Jurisdiction being discretionary must be exercised on fair and just principles in facts of a case.

In facts of case, exercise of discretion under Section 427(1) of Cr.PC, mandates that, substantive sentences imposed upon Appellant in three separate prosecutions, are directed to run concurrently, except default sentence, if fine by way of compensation as imposed has not been paid by him. Appellant would naturally be entitled to all consequential reliefs for release from custody as available in law. Appeals stand disposed.

Tags : Sentence Imposition Validity

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