26 May 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Benson v. State of Kerela

MANU/SC/1177/2016

03.10.2016

Criminal

Court is within powers to direct that subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with previous sentence

Appellant was involved in committing thefts was charged of having committed offences on different occasions and was separately tried for offences punishable under Indian Penal Code1860. By separate judgments, Appellant was convicted and sentenced in each of crimes. Respective appeals preferred by Appellant were dismissed by Sessions Judge. Appellant filed Criminal Revision Petitions in High Court which were also dismissed.

In terms of sub-section (1) of Section 427 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, if a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment, such subsequent term of imprisonment would normally commence at expiration of imprisonment to which he was previously sentenced. However, this normal rule is subject to a qualification and it is within the powers of Court to direct that subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with previous sentence.

In V.K.Bansal v. State of Haryana and Another, it was stated by this Court: It is manifest from Section 427(1) that Court has power and discretion to issue a direction but in very nature of power so conferred upon the Court discretionary power shall have to be exercised along the judicial lines and not in a mechanical, wooden or pedantic manner.

There was nothing wrong in assessment made by Courts below and orders of conviction recorded against Appellant in present cases were correct. Quantum of sentence imposed in respect of respective crimes was also appropriate. Sentence imposed in respect of first crime started with effect from 20th November, 2003 and last sentence would be over by 19th August, 2022, which would effectively mean that, total length of sentences in aggregate would be around 19 years. Sentence in respect of 8th crime is presently running against Appellant and would be over on 30th August, 2017.

Maximum sentence in respect of present crimes is two years’ rigorous imprisonment. Supreme Court directed that, sentences imposed in each of cases, as indicated in 11 sentence chart shall run concurrently with sentence imposed in Crime No.8 which is currently operative. Sentences of fine and default sentences maintained. If fine as imposed is not deposited, default sentence or sentences will run consecutively and not concurrently.

Relevant

V.K.Bansal v. State of Haryana and Another, Section 427 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Tags : Conviction Sentences Quantum

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