Tag Archives: crime

Concurrent Sentence

 In the case of Anil Kumar v. State of Punjab(2017) 5 SCC 53, it was held by the Hon’ble court that “in terms of sub-section (1) of Section 427 of CrPC, 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 the expiration of the imprisonment to which he was previously sentenced. Only in appropriate cases, considering the facts of the case, the court can make the sentence run concurrently with an earlier sentence imposed. The investiture of such discretion, presupposes that such discretion be exercised by the court on sound judicial principles and not in a mechanical manner. Whether or not the discretion is to be exercised in directing sentences to run concurrently would depend upon the nature of the offence/offences and the facts and circumstances of each case.” Vickyalias Vikas v. State, Cri. Appeal No. 208 of 2020 (Arising out of SLP (cri) No. 4201 of 2019.

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Act Committed – In State of Intoxication

Section 86 Indian Penal Code, enunciates presumption that despite intoxication which is not covered by the last limb of the provision, the accused person cannot ward of the consequences of his act. A dimension however about intoxication may be noted. Section 86 begins by referring to an act which is not an offence unless done with a particular knowledge or intent. Thereafter, the law giver refers to a person committing the act in a state of intoxication. It finally attributes to him knowledge as he would have if he were not under the state of intoxication except undoubtedly, in cases where the intoxicant was administered to him against his will or without his knowledge. What about an act which becomes an offence if it is done with a specific intention by a person who is under the state of intoxication? Section 86 does not attribute intention as such to an intoxicated man committing an act which amounts to an offence when the act is done by a person harbouring a particular intention. Paul v. State of Kerala, (2020) 3 SCC 115.

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Related Witness and Interested Witness

In Ganapathi v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2018) 5 SCC 549 it was held as under:

        “Related is not equivalent to interested. A witness may be called “interested” only when he or she derives some benefit from the result of a litigation; in the decree in a civil case, or in seeing an accused person punished. A witness who is a natural one and is the only possible eyewitness in the circumstances of a case cannot be said to be “interested”.

        In criminal cases, it is often the case that the offence is witnessed by a close relative of the victim, whose presence on the scene of the offence would be natural. The evidence of such a witness cannot automatically be discarded by labeling the witness as interested. Indeed, one of the earliest statements with respect to interested witnesses in criminal cases was made in Dalip Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1953 SC 364:

        “A witness is normally to be considered independent unless he or she springs from sources which are likely to be tainted and that usually means unless the witness has cause, such as enmity against the accused, to wish to implicate him falsely. Ordinarily, a close relative would be the last to screen the real culprit and falsely implicate an innocent person.”

In the case of a related witness, the Court may not treat his or her testimony as inherently tainted and needs to ensure only that the evidence is inherently reliable, probable, cogent and consistent. In Jayabalan v. State (U.T. of Pondicherry), (2010) 1 SCC 199, it was held as under:         “In cases where the Court is called upon to deal with the evidence of the interested witneses, the approach of the Court while appreciating the evidence of such witnesses must not be pedantic. The Court must be cautious in appreciating and accepting the evidence given by the interested witnesses but the court must not be suspicious of such evidence. The primary endeavor of the Court must be to look for consistency. The evidence of a witness cannot be ignored or thrown out solely because it comes from the mouth of a person who is closely related to the victim.” Laltu Ghosh v. State of W.B., (2019) 15 SCC 344.

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Parole and Furlough – Difference Between

A “regular parole” may be given in the following cases:
(i) Serious illness of a family member;
(ii) Critical conditions in the family on account of accident or death of a family member;
(iii) Marriage of any member of the family of the convict;
(iv) Delivery of a child by the wife of the convict if there is no other family member to take care of the spouse at home;
(v) Serious damage to life or property of the family of the convict including damage caused by natural calamities;
(vi) To maintain family and social ties;
(vii) To pursue the filing of a special leave petition before the court against a judgment delivered by the High Court convicting or upholding the conviction, as the case may be.
Furlough on the other hand, is a brief release from the prison. It is conditional and is given in case of long term imprisonment. The period of sentence spent on furlough by the prisoners need not be undergone by him as is done in the case of parole. Furlough is granted as a good conduct remission.

The differences between parole and furlough are as under:
(i) Both parole and furlough are conditional release.
(ii) Parole can be granted in case of short-term imprisonment whereas in furlough it is granted in case of long-term imprisonment.
(iii) Duration of parole extends to one month whereas in the case of furlough it extends to fourteen days maximum.
(iv) Parole is granted by Divisional Commissioner and furlough is granted by the Deputy Inspector General of Prisons.
(v) For parole, specific reason is required, whereas furlough is meant for breaking the monotony of imprisonment.
(vi) The term of imprisonment is not included in the computation of the term of parole, whereas it is vice versa in furlough.
(vii) Parole can be granted number of times whereas there is limitation in the case of furlough.
(viii) Since furlough is not granted for any particular reason, it can be denied in the interest of the society. Asfaq v. State of Rajasthan, (2017) 15 SCC 55.

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Further Investigation – Powers of

From a plain reading of sub-section (2) and sub-section (8) of Section 173, it is evident that even after submission of Police Report under sub-section (2) on completion of investigation, the police has a right to “further” investigation under sub-section (8) of Section 173 but not “fresh investigation” or “re investigation”. The meaning of “further” is additional; more; or supplemental. “Further” investigation, therefore, is the continuation of the earlier investigation and not a fresh investigation or reinvestigation to be started ab initio wiping out the earlier investigation altogether. Arun Kumar v. State of U.P., 2016 (95) ACC 823.

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Cognizance of an offence – Can be taken only once

Cognizance of an offence can only be taken once. In the event, a Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence and then commits the case to the court of Session, the question of taking fresh cognizance of the offence and, thereafter, proceeding to issue summons, is not in accordance with law. If cognizance is to be taken of the offence, it could be taken either by the Magistrate or by the Court of Session. The language of Section 193 of the CRPC very clearly indicates that once the case is committed to the court of Session by the Magistrate, the Court of Session assumes original jurisdiction and all that goes with the assumption of such jurisdiction. The provisions of Section 209 of the CRPC will, therefore, have to be understood as the Magistrate playing a passive role in committing the case to the Court of Session on finding from the police report that the case was triable by the Court of Session. Nor can there be any question of part cognizance being taken by the Magistrate and part cognizance being taken by the Sessions Judge. Balveer Singh v. State of Rajasthan, (2016) 6 SCC 680.

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Sentencing – Has a social Goal

It was held in Shyam Narain v. State, (2013) 7 SCC 77 as under:
“Primarily it is to be borne in mind that sentencing for any offence has a social goal. Sentence is to be imposed regard being had to the nature of the offence and the manner in which the offence has been committed. The fundamental purpose of imposition of sentence is based on the principle that the accused must realize that the crime committed by him has not only created a dent in his life but also concavity in the social fabric. The purpose of just punishment is designed so that the individuals in the society which ultimately constitute the collective do not suffer time and again for such crimes. It serves as a deterrent. True it is, on certain occasions, opportunities may be granted to the convict for reforming himself but it is equally true that the proportionality between an offence committed and the penalty imposed are to be kept in view. While carrying out this complex exercise, it is obligatory on the part of the court to see the impact of the offence on the society as a whole and its ramifications on the immediate collective as well as its repercussions on the victim.”

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Continuing Offence

Section 472 CrPC provides that in case of a continuing offence, a fresh period of limitation begins to run at every moment of the time period during which the offence continues. The expression “continuing offence” has not been defined in CrPC because it is one of those expressions which does not have a fixed connotation, and therefore, the formula of universal application cannot be formulated in this respect.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary (5th Edition), ‘continuing’ means ‘enduring; not terminated by a single act or fact; subsisting for a definite period or intended to cover or apply to successive similar obligations or occurrences’. Continuing offence means ‘type of crime which is committed over a span of time’. As to period of statute of limitation in a continuing offence, the last act of the offence controls for commencement of the period. ‘A continuing offence, such that only the last act thereof within the period of the statute of limitations need be alleged in the indictment or information, is one which may consist of separate acts or a course of conduct but which arises from that singleness of thought, purpose or action which may be deemed a single impulse.’ So also a ‘continuous crime’ means ‘one consisting of a continuous series of acts, which endures after the period of consummation, as, the offence of carrying concealed weapons. In the case of instantaneous crimes, the statute of limitation begins to run with the consummation, while in the case of continuous crimes it only begins with the cessation of the criminal conduct or act.
The law on this point can be summarized to the effect that, in the case of a continuing offence, the ingredients of the offence continue i.e. endure even after the period of consummation, whereas in an instantaneous offence, the offence takes place once and for all i.e. when the same actually takes place. In such cases, there is no continuing offence, even though the damage resulting from the injury may itself continue. Udai Shankar Awasthi v. State of Uttar Pradesh and another, (2013) 2 SCC 435.

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Investigation under CrPC – Meaning of

Section 2 (h) of the CRPC reads as under:
2.(h) “investigation” includes all the proceedings under this Code for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or by any person (other than a Magistrate) who is authorised by a Magistrate in this behalf;
Section 2(h) CrPC defines “investigation” and it includes all the proceedings under the Code for the collection of evidence conducted by a police officer or by any person (other than a Magistrate) who is authorised by a Magistrate in this behalf. It ends with the formation of the opinion as to whether on the material collected, there is a case to place the accused before a Magistrate for trial and if so, taking the necessary steps for the same by filing of a charge-sheet under Section 173. Union of India v. Prakash P. Hinduja .
A three Judge Bench in H.N. Rishbud v. State of Delhi , while dealing with investigation, has stated that under the Code, investigation consists generally of the following steps:
(a) Proceeding to the spot,
(b) Ascertainment of the facts and circumstances of the case,
(c) Discovery and arrest of the suspected offender,
(d) Collection of evidence relating to the commission of the offence which may consist of:
(i) The examination of various persons (including the accused) and the reduction of their statements into writing, if the officer thinks fit,
(ii) The search of places or seizure of things considered necessary for the investigation and to be produced at the trial, and
(e) Formation of the opinion as to whether on the material collected there is a case to place the accused before a Magistrate for trial and if so taking the necessary steps for the same by the filing of a chargesheet under Section 173.
In Adri Dharan Das v. State of W.B. , it has been opined that:
“arrest is a part of the process of investigation intended to secure several purposes. The accused may have to be questioned in detail regarding various facets of motive, preparation, commission and aftermath of the crime and connection of other persons, if any, in the crime.”
In Niranjan Singh v. State of U.P. , it has been laid down that investigation is not an inquiry or trial before the Court and that is why the Legislature did not contemplate any irregularity in investigation as of sufficient importance to vitiate or otherwise form any infirmity in the inquiry or trial. In S.N.Sharma v. Bipen Kumar Tiwari , it has been observed that the power of police to investigate is independent of any control by the Magistrate. In State of Bihar v. J.A.C. Saldanha , it has been observed that there is a clear cut and well demarcated sphere of activity in the field of crime detection and crime punishment and further investigation of an offence is the field exclusively reserved for the executive in the Police Department. Manubhai Ratilal Patel v. State of Gujarat and Others,(2013) 1 SCC 314.

Further Investigation
The mere undertaking of a further investigation either by the investigating officer on his own or upon the directions of the superior police officer or pursuant to a direction by the Magistrate concerned to whom the report is forwarded does not mean that the report submitted under Section 173 (2) is abandoned or rejected. It is only that either the investigating agency or the court concerned is not completely satisfied with the material collected by the investigating agency and is of the opinion that possibly some more material is required to be collected in order to sustain the allegations of the commission of the offence indicated in the report. Vipul Shital Prasad Agarwal v. State of Gujarat and another, (2013) 1 SCC 197.

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