High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Smt.Krishana & Anr v. State of Punjab - CRM-14481-2006  RD-P&H 3541 (31 May 2006)
Criminal Misc. No.14481 of 2006
In Criminal Appeal No.200-SB of 1993
Date of decision:25.5.2006
Smt.Krishana and another ..Applicants
State of Punjab ...Respondent
CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE AMAR DUTT
Present: None for the applicant-appellants.
Amar Dutt, J.
Smt. Krishna and Raman were found guilty of offence under Section 304-B and 498-A IPC by the Sessions Judge, Jalandhar vide judgment dated 7.6.1993 and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years under Section 304-B IPC and rigorous imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs.1000/- each under Section 498 A IPC and in default of payment of fine to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for six months.
On appeal, this Court had vide order dated July 14, 2004 modified the conviction and sentence of the appellants, which reads as under:-
"For the reasons recorded above, the appeal is dismissed as devoid of merit and conviction recorded by the trial Court is modified, but under Section 306 IPC and 498-A IPC and the appellants are sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment of 5 years under Section 306 IPC and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/- Criminal Misc. No.14481 of 2006
each and in default of payment of fine, to undergo further Rigorous Imprisonment for one year and under Section 498-A IPC, to undergo two year Rigorous Imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.1000/- each and in default of payment of fine, to undergo further Rigorous Imprisonment for six months."
Through the present application, the applicant- appellants seek a clarification regarding the manner in which the sentences imposed under Sections 306 and 498-A IPC are to run as there is no mention in the order passed by this Court as to whether the sentences are to run concurrently or otherwise. According to the applicants, it is evident that this omission was done by over sight and consequently a prayer has been made to carry out the ncessary correction.
On 5.5.2006, at the time of arguments, no one had put in appearance on behalf of the applicants and, therefore, I have perused the record. The legal position in relation to the manner in which the sentence in such a case is to be awarded is spelt out in Section 31 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which reads as under:-
"31. Sentence 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 Criminal Misc. No.14481 of 2006
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 a 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 Criminal Misc. No.14481 of 2006
person, the aggregate of the consecutive sentences passed against him under this section shall be deemed to be a single sentence."
According to it, in case the order of sentence does not indicate the manner in which the sentences are to be carried out, it has to be presumed that they have to be carried out separately. There is nothing on record from which one may be able to discern whether the omission to specify the manner in which the sentences were to be executed was deliberate or due to over sight. An order imposing of a sentence according to Bhaskaran etc. Vs. State, 1978 Criminal Law Journal 738 is a direction which cannot be varied at a stage after its pronouncement as the same would be barred by the provisions of Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Even otherwise, no one has put in appearance on behalf of the applicants to press the Criminal Misc. Application.
Consequently, I find no merit in this application and the same is dismissed.
May 25,2006 (Amar Dutt)
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