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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sec.376 (f)/302/201 I.P.C.- all sentences order to run consecutively - Sec. 31 (2) of Criminal Procedure Code - Apex court held that trial and High court committed error in view of Sec. 31(2) of Cr.P.C.- Section 31 of Cr.P.C. relates to sentence in cases of conviction of several offences at one trial. Proviso to Sub Section (2) to Section 31 lays down the embargo whether the aggregate punishment of prisoner is for a period of longer than 14 years. In view of the fact that life imprisonment means imprisonment for full and complete span of life, the question of consecutive sentences in case of conviction for several offences at one trial does not arise. Therefore, in case a person is sentenced of conviction of several offences, including one that of life imprisonment, the proviso to Section 31(2) shall come into play and no consecutive sentence can be imposed.=DURYODHAN ROUT … APPELLANT VERSUS STATE OF ORISSA … RESPONDENT= 2014 – July. Part -http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41715

 Sec.376 (f)/302/201 I.P.C.- all sentences order to run consecutively - Sec. 31 (2) of Criminal Procedure Code - Apex court held that trial and High court committed error in view of Sec. 31(2) of Cr.P.C.- Section 31 of Cr.P.C. relates to sentence in cases  of  conviction  of several offences at one trial. Proviso to Sub  Section  (2)  to  Section  31 lays down the embargo whether the aggregate punishment of prisoner is for  a period of longer than 14 years. In view of the fact that  life  imprisonment means imprisonment for full and complete  span  of  life,  the  question  of
consecutive sentences in case of conviction  for  several  offences  at  one trial  does  not  arise.  Therefore,  in  case  a  person  is  sentenced  of conviction of several offences, including one  that  of  life  imprisonment, the proviso to Section  31(2)  shall  come  into  play  and  no  consecutive
sentence can be imposed.=

whether the judgment passed by the Trial Court  as
affirmed  by  the  High   Court,   that   the   sentences   under   Sections
376(f)/302/201 IPC are to run consecutively is contrary to  the  proviso  to
sub Section (2) of Section 31  of  the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973
(hereinafter referred to as “Cr.P.C.”).=
 Section 31 of the Cr.P.C. relates to sentences in cases of  conviction
of several offences at one trial.  Under  proviso  to  Sub  Section  (2)  of
Section 31 of Cr.P.C. in no case a person can be sentenced  to  imprisonment
for a period longer than fourteen years and the aggregate  punishment  shall
not exceed twice the amount of punishment which the Court  is  competent  to
inflict for a single offence.
 Imprisonment for life is not confined to 14 years of  imprisonment.  A
reading of Section 55 IPC and Section 433 and 433A  Cr.P.C.  would  indicate
that  only  the  appropriate  Government  can  commute  the   sentence   for
imprisonment of life for a term not exceeding fourteen years or exceeds  the
release for such person unless he has served  at  least  fourteen  years  of
imprisonment.
      Section 57 of the Indian Penal  Code  merely  relates  to  calculating
fractions of terms of punishment by providing a numerical value of 20  years
to life imprisonment.
      Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code lists  the  punishments  to  which
offenders are liable under the Code which reads as follows:
“First-Death;
 Secondly-Imprisonment for life;
 Fourthly-Imprisonment, which is of two
          Descriptions, namely:-
 (1)Rigorous, that is, with hard labour;
 (2)Simple
 Fifty-Forfeiture of property;
 Sixthly-Fine.”

Therefore, a person sentenced to life imprisonment is  bound  to  serve  the
remainder of his life in prison unless  the  sentence  is  commuted  by  the
appropriate Government in terms of the Section 55, 433 and 433A of the  Code
of Criminal Procedure.
The question, however, came up for  consideration  in  Zulfiwar  Ali  v.
State of U.P.3 wherein it was held: (All LJ p. 1181, para 25)

“25. The opening words ‘In  the  case  of  consecutive  sentences’  in  sub-
section (2) of Section 31 make it clear that this sub-section  refers  to  a
case in which ‘consecutive sentences’ are ordered. After providing  that  in
such a case if an aggregate of punishment for several offences is  found  to
be in excess of punishment which the court is  competent  to  inflict  on  a
conviction of single offence, it shall not be necessary  for  the  court  to
send the offender for trial before a  higher  court.  After  making  such  a
provision, proviso (a) is added to this sub-section to limit  the  aggregate
of  sentences  which  such  a  court  pass  while   making   the   sentences
consecutive. That  is  this  proviso  has  provided  that  in  no  case  the
aggregate of consecutive sentences passed against an  accused  shall  exceed
14 years. In the instant case the aggregate  of  the  two  sentences  passed
against the appellant being 28 years clearly infringes  the  above  proviso.
It is accordingly not liable to be sustained.

11. In view of the proviso appended to Section 31 of the Criminal  Procedure
Code, we are of the opinion that the High Court committed a  manifest  error
in sentencing  the  appellant  for  20  years’  rigorous  imprisonment.  The
maximum sentence imposable being 14 years and  having  regard  to  the  fact
that the appellant is in custody for more than 12 years. Now, we are of  the
opinion that interest of justice would be  subserved  if  the  appellant  is
directed to be sentenced to the period already undergone.”
Section 31 of Cr.P.C. relates to sentence in cases  of  conviction  of
several offences at one trial. Proviso to Sub  Section  (2)  to  Section  31
lays down the embargo whether the aggregate punishment of prisoner is for  a
period of longer than 14 years. In view of the fact that  life  imprisonment
means imprisonment for full and complete  span  of  life,  the  question  of
consecutive sentences in case of conviction  for  several  offences  at  one
trial  does  not  arise.  Therefore,  in  case  a  person  is  sentenced  of
conviction of several offences, including one  that  of  life  imprisonment,
the proviso to Section  31(2)  shall  come  into  play  and  no  consecutive
sentence can be imposed.

2014 – July. Part -http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41715


                                                                 REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NOs. 2277-2278  OF 2009

DURYODHAN ROUT                                     … APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

STATE OF ORISSA                             … RESPONDENT



                               J U D G M E N T


Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, J.

      These appeals are directed  against  the  common  judgment  dated  8th
January, 2008 passed by the  High  Court  of  Orissa  at  Cuttack  in  Death
Reference Case No.2 of 2007 and J. Crl. A.No.12 of  2007.  By  the  impugned
judgment, the High Court upheld the conviction  of  the  appellant  for  the
offence  under  Section  376,  302  and  201  IPC.  However,   taking   into
consideration the facts and circumstances  of  the  case,  the  age  of  the
appellant, his family background and the fact  that  the  appellant  had  no
criminal antecedent, the capital sentence for the offence under Section  302
IPC has been commuted to life imprisonment;  and  rest  of  sentence  remain
unaltered.
2.    The case of the prosecution is that on 11th September, 2004, at  about
3 p.m. accused Duryodhan Rout, on the pretext that the deceased,  Subhasini,
a minor girl aged about 10 years would talk over  phone  with  his  brother,
Bamodev Bhoi took her on a bicycle. When the evening  set  in,  the  accused
alone returned to the village and on enquiry about Subhasini, by Mulia  Bhoi
(PW-5), father of the deceased, he told that she had gone with  a  woman  of
Ranibandha to her house. On the next day, as she did not  return  Mulia  Boi
(PW-5) again questioned  the  accused  regarding  the  where  about  of  the
deceased.  The  accused  confessed  in  presence  of  Rabi  Biswal   (PW-3),
Dasarathi Bhoi (PW-4) and Subashini Bhoi that  he  killed  the  deceased  by
pressing her neck. With the help of these three witnesses, Mulia  Bhoi  (PW-
5) took the accused to Thakurgarh P.S. got the FIR  scribed  by  one  Laxman
Senapti and lodged it before Udit Narayan  Pany,  Officer-in-charge  of  the
said Police Station. A P.S. Case No.51  dated  12th  September,  2004  under
Section 302/201 IPC was instituted. The accused was arrested, his  statement
was recorded under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act  on  the  basis  of
which he went to the spot made recovery of the dead body  of  the  deceased,
held inquest over it, seized the Chadi (underwear) of the victim lying  near
the spot, prepared seizure list in respect thereof and sent  the  dead  body
to Adhamalik Hospital for autopsy. He also seized the  wearing  apparels  of
the accused, forwarded to the Court on 13th December, 2004 and  handed  over
charge of investigation of the case to the C.I. of Police. After  completion
of  investigation,  Investigating  Officer  (I.O.)  submitted  charge  sheet
against the accused under Sections 376/302/201 IPC.
3.    Learned Session Judge secured the  presence  of  the  accused,  framed
charges u/s 376/302/201 I.P.C. The accused pleaded not  guilty  and  claimed
to be tried.
4.    In order to  establish  its  case,  the  prosecution  examined       8
witnesses. The accused examined himself as DW-1 besides examined  DW-2,  his
father to prove his stand. After  assessing  the  evidence  on  record,  the
Trial Court  found  the  accused  guilty  for  the  offence  under  Sections
376(f)/302/201 IPC convicted him thereunder and sentenced him to  death  for
the offence punishable  under  Section  302  IPC.  The  Session  Judge  also
sentenced him to undergo RI for 10 years and to pay  a  fine  of  Rs.5,000/-
for the offence punishable under Section 376(f)IPC and RI for one  year  and
to pay a fine of Rs.1,000/- for the offence  punishable  under  Section  201
IPC. It was further ordered that in default of payment of fine, the  convict
would suffer imprisonment for one year  for  the  offence  punishable  under
Section 376(f) IPC  and  three  months  for  the  offence  punishable  under
Section 201 IPC and the substantive sentences would run consecutively.
5.    The High Court, as noticed above in Reference, converted  the  capital
sentenced to life imprisonment but ordered that rest of the sentence  remain
unaltered.
6.    Admittedly, there was no eye-witness to the occurrence, the  order  of
conviction was based on the circumstantial evidence only. From the  evidence
of Paramla Nahak (PW-1) and Pechi @ Bilas Bhoi (PW-2),  it  transpires  that
on the date occurrence at about 4 p.m.  while  they  were  making  chips  by
braking boulders by the side of road, they  saw  the  accused  carrying  the
deceased on a cycle and at about 5 p.m. they saw him returning alone.  Mulia
Bhoi (PW-5) and Kalpana Bhoi (PW-6),  the  father  and  the  mother  of  the
deceased respectively, stated that the accused took the deceased on a  cycle
on the pretext that  the  later  would  talk  to  her  brother,  working  at
Bargarh, over phone from the house  of  Bijaya  Bhoi  of  village  Anandpur.
While the accused was in Police custody, he confessed his  guilt  which  was
recorded under Ext.7. The  Ext.7  reflects  that  on  11th  September,  2004
afternoon he took the deceased near Arakhkuda Salabani Jungle, undraped  her
and then committed rape on her. When  she  cried.  He  strangulated  her  to
death and left the dead body covering it with  branches  of  trees.  On  the
basis of statement of the accused the I.O recovered the dead  body  and  the
Chadi (underwear) of the deceased  lying  nearby,  from  Arakhkuda  Salabani
Jungle. The statement of the accused made before the  Police  Officer  which
distinctly relates to the facts of recovery is admissible under the law.

7.    Dr. Narayan Udgata (PW-9) stated that on 12th September, 2004  he  was
attached to Sub-Divisional Hospital, Athamallik as a Specialist in O and  G.
On that date at 5 p.m. on Police requisition, he conducted autopsy over  the
dead body of the deceased-Subhasini Bhoi aged about 10 years  and  found  as
follows:

"(i)  Bleeding from  nostrils  and  mouth  and  both  the  ears  with  small
clotting of blood.
 (ii) Eyes were half opened.
(iii) Bloody froth present in the nostrils and mouth.
(iv)  Stool had been discharged from anus.
(v)   Thumb marks were present on the front of the neck.
(vi)  Two linear abrasions of size 3” x 4” on the front of the neck  due  to
scratching by some sharp weapon like human nail.
(vii) Finger marks were present on both sides of the neck and  back  of  the
neck.
(viii)      Extravasation of blood in to  the  sub-cutaneous  tissues  under
the thumb and finger marks and adjacent muscles of the neck.
(ix)  Muscles of neck corresponding to  the  thumb  and  finger  marks  were
mildly lacerated.
(x)   Multiple abrasions (linear) of size varying from 2”  and  3”  on  both
sides of scapular region. Most probably caused by weapon like human nails.
(xi)  Multiple abrasions on the back of both buttocks due to friction  on  a
rough surface, like rough ground and  the  abrasions  were  associated  with
very mild bleeding. The size of multiple abrasions varies from ½”  x  ½”  to
¾” x ½”.
(xii) Laceration of the vagina  with  bleeding  with  clots,  most  probably
because of attempt to introduce the penis-forcibly. The penis most  probably
was large in size and the vaginal orifice of the deceased girl,  aged  about
10 years was very narrow. The laceration appears  to  have  been  caused  by
several attempts to introduce the penis into the vagine.
(xiii)      All the injuries were ante mortem in nature. The throttling  was
also ante mortem in nature. There was no evidence of  seminal  fluid  in  or
around vagina or on any part of the body of anywhere  in  the  clothings  of
the victim.

According to Dr. Narayan Udgata (PW-9),  the  cause  of  death  was  due  to
throttling and probably homicidal in nature.  He  further  stated  that  the
accused might have attempted three to four  times  to  introduce  his  penis
into the vaginal orifice of the deceased.  From  his  evidence,  it  further
transpires that on 13th September, 2004, he examined the accused  and  found
seminal fluid marks on his pant. He also found one linear abrasion  of  size
¼ on the postero-lateral  aspect  of  the  left  elbow  and  another  linear
abrasion of the  same  size  on  the  medial  aspect  of  his  right  knees.
According to him, those injuries might have been caused 12 hours earlier  to
the alleged incident. Therefore, it is not safe to hold that  in  course  of
rape and murder of deceased,  the  accused  sustained  those  injuries.  Dr.
Narayan Udgata (PW-9),however, could not notice any sign  of  recent  sexual
intercourse on the private part of the accused.
8.    Mulia Bhoi (PW-5), stated that the accused confessed  before  him  and
Rabindra Biswal  (PW-3)  and  Dasarathi  Bhoi  (PW-4)  that  he  killed  the
deceased. Rabindra Biswal (PW-3) and Dasarathi Bhoi  (PW-4)  turned  hostile
and  did  not  support  the  prosecution.  However,  Kalpana   Bhoi   (PW-6)
corroborated this part of evidence of  Mulia  Bhoi  (PW-5).  When  asked  by
Mulia Bhoi (PW-5) regarding the whereabout of  the  deceased,  accused  told
that she went with a woman of Ranibandha, which was found to be incorrect.
9.    The Trial Court convicted the appellant on the basis of the  chain  of
circumstantial evidence available against the accused.  It  was  found  that
the accused carried on the deceased  in  his  cycle  at  about  4  p.m.  but
returned alone at 5 p.m. He confessed to have murdered the  deceased  before
Mulia Bhoi (PW-5). On the basis of the statement  of  the  accused  recorded
under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, the I.O.  discovered  the  dead  body;
the opion of the Doctor was that the deceased was raped  and  murdered.  The
Doctor examined the accused and found seminal fluid marks on his  pant.  The
accused gave false  statement  that  the  deceased  went  with  a  woman  of
Ranibandha. Paramla Nahak (PW-1)  and  Pechi  @  Bilas  Bhoi  (PW-2)saw  the
accused carried the deceased on a cycle at about 4 p.m. and  returned  alone
one hour thereafter. Thus, the accused was  last  seen  with  the  deceased.
There is nothing to indicate that within one hour, there was any  scope  for
anybody else, other than the accused  to  commit  rape  and  murder  of  the
deceased. The chain of circumstances  of  the  case  thereby  leads  to  the
hypothesis that the accused and the accused alone  was  the  author  of  the
crime, and therefore, the Trial Court rightly convicted  the  accused  under
Sections 376(f)/302/201 IPC.
10.   During the arguments, learned counsel for the appellant mainly  argued
on the question of consecutive sentence as passed by  the  Trial  Court  and
upheld by the High Court. It was contended that Trial  Court  and  the  High
Court wrongly held that the sentences under Sections 376(f)/302/201  IPC  to
run consecutively.
11.   The question arises whether the judgment passed by the Trial Court  as
affirmed  by  the  High   Court,   that   the   sentences   under   Sections
376(f)/302/201 IPC are to run consecutively is contrary to  the  proviso  to
sub Section (2) of Section 31  of  the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973
(hereinafter referred to as “Cr.P.C.”).
12.   According to the learned Counsel for the  respondent-State  of  Orissa
proviso to Sub Section (2) of Section 31  of  the  Cr.P.C.  cannot  be  made
applicable to a conviction for life imprisonment under Section 302 IPC.
13.   It was submitted that imprisonment can be rigorous or simple  (Section
60 of the Indian Penal Code). As far  as  life  imprisonment  is  concerned,
there is no such classification. The first classification was  attempted  by
the Law Commission of India  through  its  39th  report  to  qualify  it  as
rigorous but the same  was  never  translated  into  legislation.  But  such
submission is not based on any reasoning.
14.   In order to fully appreciate the  question  involved  in  the  present
case  it  is  desirable  to  notice  the  relevant  provisions  of  Criminal
Procedure Code and Indian Penal Code.
15.   Section 31 of the Cr.P.C. relates to sentences in cases of  conviction
of several offences at one trial.  Under  proviso  to  Sub  Section  (2)  of
Section 31 of Cr.P.C. in no case a person can be sentenced  to  imprisonment
for a period longer than fourteen years and the aggregate  punishment  shall
not exceed twice the amount of punishment which the Court  is  competent  to
inflict for a single offence. Section 31 of Cr.P.C. reads as follows:
“31. Sentences in cases of conviction of several offences at one trial.

(1) When a person is convicted at one trial of two  or  more  offences,  the
Court may, subject to the provisions of section 71 of the Indian Penal  Code
(45 of 1860 ), sentence him for such offences, to  the  several  punishments
prescribed  therefor  which  such  Court  is  competent  to  inflict;   such
punishments when consisting of imprisonment to commence the one after
the expiration of the other in such order as the Court  may  direct,  unless
the Court directs that such punishments shall run concurrently.

(2) In the case of consecutive sentences, it shall not be necessary for  the
Court by reason only of the aggregate punishment for  the  several  offences
being in excess of the punishment  which  it  is  competent  to  inflict  on
conviction of a single offence, to send the  offender  for  trial  before  a
higher Court:

Provided that-

(a) in no case shall such person be sentenced  to  imprisonment  for  longer
period than fourteen years;

(b)  the  aggregate  punishment  shall  not  exceed  twice  the  amount   of
punishment which the Court is competent to inflict for a single offence.

(3) For the purpose of appeal by a convicted person, the  aggregate  of  the
consecutive sentences passed against him under this section shall be  deemed
to be a single sentence.”

16.   Section 45 of the Indian Penal Code defines life as  “The word  “life”
denotes the life of a human being, unless  the  contrary  appears  from  the
context”.
      The word “imprisonment” has not been defined either  in  the  Code  of
Criminal Procedure or in the Indian Penal Code.
       As  per  the  General  Clauses  Act,  1897  under  Section  3(27)   –
“imprisonment” shall mean imprisonment of either description as  defined  in
the Indian Penal Code. The definition  of  imprisonment  under  the  General
Clauses  Act  would,  therefore,  in  case   of   life   imprisonment   mean
imprisonment for life/imprisonment for the remainder of the convict’s life.
      We are not in agreement with submission made on behalf  of  the  State
that imprisonment for life has not been included in the definition  of  term
‘imprisonment’ under Section 3(27) of the General Clauses Act, 1897.
17.   Imprisonment for life is not confined to 14 years of  imprisonment.  A
reading of Section 55 IPC and Section 433 and 433A  Cr.P.C.  would  indicate
that  only  the  appropriate  Government  can  commute  the   sentence   for
imprisonment of life for a term not exceeding fourteen years or exceeds  the
release for such person unless he has served  at  least  fourteen  years  of
imprisonment.
      Section 57 of the Indian Penal  Code  merely  relates  to  calculating
fractions of terms of punishment by providing a numerical value of 20  years
to life imprisonment.
      Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code lists  the  punishments  to  which
offenders are liable under the Code which reads as follows:
“First-Death;
 Secondly-Imprisonment for life;
 Fourthly-Imprisonment, which is of two
          Descriptions, namely:-
 (1)Rigorous, that is, with hard labour;
 (2)Simple
 Fifty-Forfeiture of property;
 Sixthly-Fine.”

Therefore, a person sentenced to life imprisonment is  bound  to  serve  the
remainder of his life in prison unless  the  sentence  is  commuted  by  the
appropriate Government in terms of the Section 55, 433 and 433A of the  Code
of Criminal Procedure.
18.   In Gopal Vinayak Godse vs. The State of Maharashtra & Ors.,  AIR  1961
SC 600, the  Constitution  Bench  of  this  Court  while  dealing  with  the
question as to whether there is any provision of law whereunder  a  sentence
for life imprisonment, without  any  formal  remission  by  the  appropriate
Government can be automatically treated as one for  a  definite  period.  In
the said case this Court held:
“5. If so, the next question is whether there is any provision of law  where
under a sentence for life imprisonment,  without  any  formal  remission  by
appropriate Government, can be automatically treated as one for  a  definite
period. No such provision is  found  in  the  Indian  Penal  Code,  Code  of
Criminal Procedure or the  Prisons  Act.  Though  the  Government  of  India
stated before the Judicial Committee in the case cited  supra  that,  having
regard to Section 57 of the Indian Penal Code, 20  years'  imprisonment  was
equivalent to a sentence of transportation for life, the Judicial  Committee
did not express its final opinion on that question. The  Judicial  Committee
observed in that case thus at p. 10:

“Assuming that the sentence is to be regarded as one of  twenty  years,  and
subject  to  remission  for  good  conduct,  he  had  not  earned  remission
sufficient to entitle him to discharge at the time of his  application,  and
it was therefore rightly dismissed, but in saying this, Their Lordships  are
not to be taken as meaning that  a  life  sentence  must  in  all  cases  be
treated as one of not more  than  twenty  years,  or  that  the  convict  is
necessarily entitled to remission.”

Section 57 of the Indian Penal Code has no  real  bearing  on  the  question
raised before us. For calculating  fractions  of  terms  of  punishment  the
section  provides  that  transportation  for  life  shall  be  regarded   as
equivalent  to  imprisonment  for  twenty  years.  It  does  not  say   that
transportation for life shall be deemed  to  be  transportation  for  twenty
years for all purposes; nor does the amended section which  substitutes  the
words “imprisonment for life”  for  “transportation  for  life”  enable  the
drawing of any such all embracing fiction. A sentence of transportation  for
life or imprisonment for life must prima facie be treated as  transportation
or imprisonment for the whole of  the  remaining  period  of  the  convicted
person's natural life.”

19.   In State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Ratan Singh & Ors., (1976) 3  SCC  470,
this  Court  held  that  sentence  of  imprisonment  for   life   does   not
automatically expire at the end of 20 years. This Court held:
“9. From a review of the authorities and the  statutory  provisions  of  the
Code of Criminal Procedure the following propositions emerge:
“(1) that a sentence of imprisonment for life does not automatically  expire
at the end of 20 years including the remissions, because the  administrative
rules framed under the various Jail Manuals or under the Prisons Act  cannot
supersede the statutory provisions of the Indian Penal Code. A  sentence  of
imprisonment for life means a sentence for the entire life of  the  prisoner
unless the appropriate Government chooses  to  exercise  its  discretion  to
remit either the whole or a part of the sentence under Section  401  of  the
Code of Criminal Procedure;”

20.   This Court in Naib Singh vs. State of Punbaj  &  Ors.,  (1983)  2  SCC
454, relying upon the judgment made by the Privy  Council  in  ‘Kishor  Lal’
and Constitution Bench decision of this Court in ‘Gopal Vinayak Godse’  held
that the appellant in the said case was liable to serve the  sentence  until
the remainder of his life in prison.
21.   In Ashok Kumar vs. Union of India &  Ors.,  (1991)  3  SCC  498,  this
Court held that the expression “life  imprisonment”  must  be  read  in  the
context  of  Section  45  of  the  Indian  Penal  Code  which   would   mean
imprisonment for the full or complete span of life. This Court further  held
that the provisions in Section  57  that  imprisonment  for  life  shall  be
reckoned as equivalent to imprisonment for 20 years is for  the  purpose  of
working out the fraction of the terms of punishment.
22.   This Court endorsed the view taken by this Court in the case  of  Niab
Singh, the Privy Council judgment in Kishori Lal and  the  judgment  in  the
case of Gopal Vinayak Godse in Satpal vs. State of Haryana & Anr., (1992)  4
SCC 172.
23.   In Subash Chander vs. Krishan Lal &  Ors.,  (2001)  4  SCC  458,  this
Court held that life imprisonment means imprisonment for the  whole  of  the
remaining  period  of  the  convicted  person’s  natural  life  unless   the
appropriate Government chooses to exercise its discretion  to  remit  either
the whole or a part of the sentence under Section 401 Cr.P.C.
      Similar was the view taken by this Court in Shri Bhagwan vs. State  of
Rajasthan, (2001) 6 SCC 296.
24.   This Court reiterated that life imprisonment  was  not  equivalent  to
imprisonment for 14 years or 20 years in Mohd. Munna vs. Union  of  India  &
Ors., (2005) 7 SCC 417. The Court held  that  the  life  imprisonment  means
imprisonment for whole of the remaining period  of  the  convicted  person’s
natural life. There is no provision either in the Indian Penal  Code  or  in
the Criminal Procedure Code, whereby life imprisonment could be  treated  as
either 14 years or 20 years without there being of formal remission  by  the
appropriate Government.
25.   In Swamy Shraddananda vs.State of Karnataka, (2008) 13 SCC  767,  this
Court while substituting the sentence of death  to  life  imprisonment  held
that the prisoner shall not be released from prison till  the  rest  of  his
life.
      Similar view was taken by this Court in Sangeet & Anr.  vs.  State  of
Haryana, (2013) 2 SCC 452. In the said case this Court held that a  prisoner
serving a life sentence has no indefeasible right to release  on  completion
of either 14 years or 20  years  imprisonment.  A  convict  undergoing  life
imprisonment is expected to remain in custody  till  the  end  of  his  life
subject to  any  remission  granted  by  the  appropriate  Government  under
Section 432 Cr.P.C.
26.    From the aforesaid decisions rendered by this  Court,  it  is   clear
that a sentence of imprisonment for life means a sentence  for  entire  life
of the prisoner unless the appropriate Government chooses  to  exercise  its
discretion to remit either the whole or a part of  the  sentence  under  the
provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.
27.   Section 31 of Cr.P.C. relates to sentence in cases  of  conviction  of
several offences at one trial. Proviso to Sub  Section  (2)  to  Section  31
lays down the embargo whether the aggregate punishment of prisoner is for  a
period of longer than 14 years. In view of the fact that  life  imprisonment
means imprisonment for full and complete  span  of  life,  the  question  of
consecutive sentences in case of conviction  for  several  offences  at  one
trial  does  not  arise.  Therefore,  in  case  a  person  is  sentenced  of
conviction of several offences, including one  that  of  life  imprisonment,
the proviso to Section  31(2)  shall  come  into  play  and  no  consecutive
sentence can be imposed.
28.   In the case of Kamalanantha and others vs. State  of  T.N.,  (2005)  5
SCC 194, this Court held:
“75. Regarding the sentence, the trial court resorted  to  Section  31  CrPC
and ordered the sentence to run consecutively, subject  to  proviso  (a)  of
the said section.

76. The contention of Mr Jethmalani that the  term  “imprisonment”  enjoined
in Section 31 CrPC does not include imprisonment for life  is  unacceptable.
The  term  “imprisonment”  is  not  defined  under  the  Code  of   Criminal
Procedure. Section 31 of the Code falls under Chapter III of the Code  which
deals with power of courts. Section 28 of the Code empowers the  High  Court
to pass any sentence authorised by law. Similarly, the  Sessions  Judge  and
Additional Sessions Judge may pass any sentence authorised  by  law,  except
the sentence of death which shall be subject to  confirmation  by  the  High
Court. In our opinion the term “imprisonment” would include the sentence  of
imprisonment for life.”

29.   The aforesaid judgment was relied upon by this Court in  Chatar  Singh
vs. State of M.P., (2006) 12 SCC 37, and held:
“9. Although, the power of the court to impose  consecutive  sentence  under
Section  31  of  the  Criminal  Procedure  Code  was  also  noticed   by   a
Constitution Bench of this Court in K. Prabhakaran v.  P.  Jayarajan2,  but,
[pic]therein the question of construing proviso  appended  thereto  did  not
and could not have fallen for consideration.
10. The question, however, came up for  consideration  in  Zulfiwar  Ali  v.
State of U.P.3 wherein it was held: (All LJ p. 1181, para 25)

“25. The opening words ‘In  the  case  of  consecutive  sentences’  in  sub-
section (2) of Section 31 make it clear that this sub-section  refers  to  a
case in which ‘consecutive sentences’ are ordered. After providing  that  in
such a case if an aggregate of punishment for several offences is  found  to
be in excess of punishment which the court is  competent  to  inflict  on  a
conviction of single offence, it shall not be necessary  for  the  court  to
send the offender for trial before a  higher  court.  After  making  such  a
provision, proviso (a) is added to this sub-section to limit  the  aggregate
of  sentences  which  such  a  court  pass  while   making   the   sentences
consecutive. That  is  this  proviso  has  provided  that  in  no  case  the
aggregate of consecutive sentences passed against an  accused  shall  exceed
14 years. In the instant case the aggregate  of  the  two  sentences  passed
against the appellant being 28 years clearly infringes  the  above  proviso.
It is accordingly not liable to be sustained.”

11. In view of the proviso appended to Section 31 of the Criminal  Procedure
Code, we are of the opinion that the High Court committed a  manifest  error
in sentencing  the  appellant  for  20  years’  rigorous  imprisonment.  The
maximum sentence imposable being 14 years and  having  regard  to  the  fact
that the appellant is in custody for more than 12 years. Now, we are of  the
opinion that interest of justice would be  subserved  if  the  appellant  is
directed to be sentenced to the period already undergone.”

30.   In the recent judgment in Ramesh Chilwal alias Bambayya vs.  State  of
Uttarakhand, (2012) 11 SCC  629, this Court held:
“4. Since this Court issued notice only to clarify the sentence  awarded  by
the trial Judge, there is no need to go into all  the  factual  details.  We
are not inclined to modify the sentence. However, considering the fact  that
the trial Judge has awarded life sentence for an offence under Section  302,
in view of Section 31 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,  we  make  it
clear that all the sentences imposed under IPC, the Gangsters  Act  and  the
Arms Act are to run concurrently.”

31.   In view of the aforesaid discussions and decisions  rendered  by  this
Court, we hold that the Trial  Court  was  not  justified  in  imposing  the
sentence under Section 376(f)/302/201 IPC to  run  consecutively.  The  High
court failed to address the said issue.
32.   For the reasons stated above, while we are not inclined  to  interfere
with the order of conviction and the sentence,  considering  the  fact  that
the accused has  been  awarded  life  imprisonment  for  the  offence  under
Section 302, we direct that all the sentences  imposed  under  Indian  Penal
Code are to run concurrently. The judgment passed by the  Session  Judge  as
affirmed by the High Court stands modified to the extent above. The  appeals
are allowed in part with the aforesaid observations.

                                             ……………………………………………………………………………J.
                                     (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)


                                             ……………………………………………………………………………J.
                                             (DIPAK MISRA)

NEW DELHI,
JULY 01, 2014.

ITEM NO.1D               COURT NO.6                 SECTION IIB

(For Judgment)



               S U P R E M E  C O U R T  O F  I N D I A

                          RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS



Criminal Appeal No(s). 2277-2278/2009



DURYODHAN ROUT                                     Appellant(s)



                                VERSUS



STATE OF ORISSA                                    Respondent(s)





Date : 01/07/2014      These appeals were called on for pronouncement
            of Judgment today.





For Appellant(s)       Mr. T. N. Singh ,Adv.



For Respondent(s)            Mr. Shibashish Misra ,Adv.





        Hon'ble Mr.  Justice  Sudhansu  Jyoti  Mukhopadhaya  pronounced  the
reportable judgment of the Bench comprising His  Lordship  and  Hon'ble  Mr.
Justice Dipak Misra.



      The appeals are allowed in terms of the signed reportable judgment.











(MEENAKSHI KOHLI)                               (USHA SHARMA)

  COURT MASTER                                   COURT MASTER



             [Signed reportable judgment is placed on the file]








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