Tag Archives: double jeopardy

No Bar To Trial – Under Two Different Enactments

In State of Maharashtra v. Sayyed Hassan, the accused was prosecuted under Sections 26 and 30 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 as well as Sections 188,272,273 and 328 IPC for transportation and sale of prohibited gutka/pan masala. The Hon’ble Bombay High Court in Ganesh Pandurang Jadho v. State of Maharashtra, 2016 CrLJ 2401 held that Section 55 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 being a specific provision made in a special enactment, Section 188 IPC was inapplicable. The Hon’ble Supreme Court remanded the matter to the High Court and held as under:

        “There is no bar to a trial or conviction of an offender twice for the offence. Where an act or an omission constitutes an offence under two enactments, the offender may be prosecuted and punished under either or both enactments but shall not be liable to be punished twice for the same offence. The same set of facts, in conceivable cases, can constitute offences under two different laws. An act or an omission can amount to and constitute an offence under Indian Penal Code and at the same time, an offence under any other law.”         In State of Rajasthan v. Hat Singh, (2003) 2 SCC 152, the Hon’ble Supreme Court discussed the doctrine of double jeopardy and Section 26 of the General Clauses Act to observe that prosecution under two different Acts is permissible if the ingredients of the provisions are satisfied on the same facts. State of Arunachal Pradesh v. Ramchandra Rabidas, (2019) 10 SCC 75.

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Loss of Pay – Based on Principle of “No Pay No Work”

Loss of pay is based on the principle of “no pay no work”. It is an action quite separate and distinct from a disciplinary proceeding, which may visit an employee for such misconduct. In State of U.P. v. Madhav Prasad Sharma, 2011 (2) SCC 212, the Apex Court was considering the question whether the employer who had already sanctioned the leave, albeit without pay, was justified in terminating the service for the same charge and whether such an action is hit by the doctrine of double jeopardy. The Apex court after noticing the relevant statutory service rules concluded by holding that leave without pay is not a punishment prescribed under the rules and thus, denial of salary on the ground of “no pay now work” cannot be treated as a penalty nor the doctrine of double jeopardy would be attracted in case the employee is inflicted with the punishment of dismissal for the same charge. Purvanchal Bank v. Umesh Prasad Gupta, 2015 (3) ESC 1317.

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Principle of Issue Estoppel

The principle of issue estoppel is also known as ‘cause of action estoppel’ and the same is different from the principle of double jeopardy or autrefois acquit, as embodied in Section 403, Crpc. This principle applies where an issue of fact has been tries by a competent Court on a former occasion and a finding has been reached in favour of an accused. Such a finding would then constitute an estoppel or res judicata against the prosecution but would not operate as a bar to the trial and conviction of the accused, for a different or distinct offence. I would only preclude the reception of evidence that will disturb that finding of fact already recorded when the accused is tried subsequently, even for a distinct offence, which might be permitted by Section 403 (2) Crpc. Thus, the rule of issue estoppel prevents re-litigation of an issue which has been determined in a criminal trial between the parties. If with respect to an offence, arising out of a transaction, a trial has taken place and the accused has been acquitted, another trial with respect to the offence alleged to arise out of the transaction, which requires the court to arrive at a conclusion inconsistent with the conclusion reached at the earlier trial, is prohibited by the rule of issue estoppel. In order to invoke the rule of issue estoppel, not only the parties in the two trials should be the same but also, the fact in issue, proved or not, as present in the earlier trial, must be identical to what is sought to be re-agitated in the subsequent trial. If the cause of action was determined to exist, i.e. judgment was given on it, the same is said to be merged in the judgment. If it was determined not to exist, the unsuccessful plaintiff can no longer assert that it does; he is estopped per rem judicatam. Ravinder Singh v. Sukhbir Singh, 2013 (80) ACC 950.

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Doctrine of Autrefois Acquit

In order to attract the provisions of Article 20 (2) of the Constitution of India, i.e. doctrine of autrefois acquit or Section 300 of Crpc or Section 71 of IPC or Section 26 of the General Clauses Act, the ingredients of the offences in the earlier case as well as in the latter case must be the same and not different. The test to ascertain whether the two offences are the same is not the identity of the allegations but the identity of the ingredients of the offence. Motive for committing the offence cannot be termed as the ingredients of offences to determine the issue. The plea of autrefois acquit is not proved unless it is shown that the judgment of acquittal in the previous charge necessarily involves an acquittal of the latter charge. Sangeetaben Mahendrabhai Patel v. State of Gujarat and another, (2012) 7 SCC 721

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Filed under Criminal Law, double jeopardy