Penal Law; Benson Vs. State of Kerala [Supreme Court of India, 03-10-2016]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 – Section 427 – Sentence on offender already sentenced for another offence – 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. However this normal rule is subject to a qualification and it is within the powers of the Court to direct that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with the previous sentence.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

(Dipak Misra) and (Uday Umesh Lalit) JJ.

October 03, 2016

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 958 OF 2016

(Arising out of SLP (Criminal) No.3757 of 2016)

Benson ….Appellant Versus State of Kerala …. Respondent

With CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 960 OF 2016 (Arising out of SLP(Criminal) No.3759 of 2016) CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 959 OF 2016 (Arising out of SLP(Criminal) No.3758 of 2016) and CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 957 OF 2016 (Arising out of SLP(Criminal) No.3756 of 2016)

J U D G M E N T

Uday Umesh Lalit, J.

1. Leave granted. These appeals by Special Leave arise out of judgments and orders passed by the High Court of Kerala in Criminal Revision Petition Nos. (i) 808 of 2015 on 16.09.2015, (ii) 859 of 2015 on 16.09.2015, (iii) 858 of 2015 on 14.09.2015 and (iv) 670 of 2015 on 17.09.2015.

2. On the allegation that the appellant was involved in committing thefts he was charged of having committed offences on different occasions and was separately tried in i) CC No.158 of 2004 before Judicial Magistrate First Class, Chavakkad for offences punishable under Section 379, 414 read with 34 IPC, ii) CC No.1039 of 2003 by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Chavakkad for offences punishable under Section 379, 414 read with 34 IPC, iii) CC No.390 of 2004 by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Chavakkad for offences punishable under Section 379, 414 read with 34 IPC and (iv) CC No.1168 of 2006 by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Kunnamkulam. By separate judgments, the appellant was convicted and sentenced in each of the aforesaid crimes. The respective appeals preferred by the appellant were dismissed by the Sessions Judge, Thrissur. The appellant filed Criminal Revision Petitions in the High Court which were also dismissed. The following chart would disclose the relevant details:-

C.C.No./ Offence Date of occurrence Date of Conviction and Sentence by Judicial Magistrate First Class Crl. Appeal No. Crl. R.P. No. in the High Court SLP No.
158/2004 in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (in short JMFC), Chavakkad/ U/s 379, 414 r/w 34 of IPC 03.06.2003 28.06.06, RI for 2 years and fine of Rs.1,000/- for offence u/s 379 IPC and RI for 2 years u/s 414 ID RI for 3 months 533/2012 decided on 15.11.2012 by Sessions Judge, Thrissur 808/ 2015 SLP (Crl.) 3757/ 2016
1039/2003 in the Court of JMFC, Chavakkad/ U/s 379, 414 r/w 34 of IPC 03.06.2003 28.06.06, RI for 2 years and fine of Rs.1,000/- for offence u/s 379 IPC and RI for 2 years for offence u/s 414 IPC, ID RI for 3 months. 759/2011 decided on 17.09.2012 by Sessions Judge, Thrissur 859/ 2015 SLP (Crl.) 3759/ 2016
390/2004 in the Court of JMFC, Chavakkad/ U/s 379, 414 r/w 34 of IPC 03.06.2003 28.06.06, RI for 2 years and fine of Rs.1,000/- for offence u/s 379 IPC and RI for 2 years u/s 414 ID RI for 3 months 761/2011 decided on 04.08.2012 by Sessions Judge, Thrissur 858/ 2015 SLP (Crl.) 3758/ 2016
1168/2006 in the Court of JMFC, Kunnamkulam/ U/s 379 r/w 34 of IPC 03.06.2003 31.12.08, RI for 1 year and fine of Rs.1,000/- ID SI for 6 months 461/2011 decided on 30.09.2011 by Sessions Judge, Thrissur 670/ 2005 SLP (Crl.) 3756/ 2016

3. These matters came up on 22.04.2016 when this Court noted the submissions of the learned counsel for the appellant regarding concurrent running of sentences and issued notice to the State. The learned counsel appearing for the State has produced before us communication dated 27.05.2016 from the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, which is as under:-

“PRISONS HEADQUARTERS, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Dated: 27.05.2016 WP1-9606/2016

From The Director General of Prisons & Correctional Services.

To The Law Officer, Office of the Resident Commissioner, Travancore Palace, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi – 110 001.

Sir, Sub: Prisons – Prisons Headquarters, Kerala – Supreme Court case – SLP (Crl) CRLMP No.6727/2016/Benson vs. State of Kerala – reg. Ref: Lr. No.38749/B1/2016/Home dtd.19/05/2016

Attention is invited to the subject & reference cited.

I may furnish the details called for vide reference is noted below:

Conviction Details

Sl. No Case No., Court and Warrant Date Sentence Details
1 CC 613/03 JFCM I, Thrissur Wdt.20-11-2003 Sentenced to undergo RI for 3 years u/s 379 IPC Set off 97 days. At large bail period -153 days.
2 CC 533/04 JFMC II, Thrissur Wdt.8-6-2005 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years u/s 392 IPC Set off 521 days.
3 CC 529/04 JFMC II, Thrissur Wdt.18-6-2005 Sentenced to undergo RI for 3 years u/s 392 IPC, Set off 493 days
4 CC 1270/13 JFCM Changanassery Wdt.18-6-2005 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years + fine Rs.5000/- i/d SI for 1 month u/s 380 IPC, RI for 2 years + fine Rs.5,000/- i/d SI for 1 month u/s 457 IPC (Concurrently) Set of 348 days
5 CC 1115/03 JFCM Irinjalakkuda Wdt. 4-7-2005 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years + fine Rs.2,000/- i/d SI for 2 months u/s 379 IPC Set off 402 days
6 CC 932/05 JFMC Irinjalakuda Wdt.4-7-2005 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years + fine Rs.2,000/- i/d SI for 2 months u/s 379 IPC Set off 465 days
7 CC 171/05 ADSJ Adhoc II Kottayam Wdt.25-11-2005 Sentenced to undergo RI for 5 years u/s 392 IPC, RI for 3 years u/s 120(B) IPC (Concurrently) Set off 418 days.
8 CC 274/06 JFCM Kodungallur Wdt.30-9-2008 Sentenced to undergo SI for 3 years u/s 205 IPC Set off 414 days
9 CC 158/04 JFCM Chavakkad Wdt.28-6-2006 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years + fine Rs.1,000/- i/d SI for 3 months u/s 379 IPC, RI for 2 years u/s 414 IPC (Concurrently) Set off 347 days
10 CC 1039/03 JFCM Chavakkad Wdt. 28-6-2006 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years + fine Rs.1,000/- i/d SI for 3 months u/s 379 IPC, RI for 2 years u/s 414 IPC (Concurrently) Set off 240 days
11 CC 390/04 JFCM Chavakkad Wdt.28-6-2006 Sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years + fine Rs.1,000/- i/d SI for 3 months u/s 379 IPC, RI for 2 years u/s 414 IPC (Concurrently) Set off 141 days
12 CC 1168/06 JFCM Kunnamangalam Wdt.31-12-2008 Sentenced to undergo RI for 1 year + fine Rs.1,000 i/d SI for 2 months u/s 379 r/w 34 IPC Set off 14 days

Sentence Calculation