Indian Penal Code – Of Punishment ( Sec. 53 – 75)

Indian Penal Code ( Sec. 1 -Sec. 5)

Chapter -2 General Explanations

Module – 3

Chapter – III  Of Punishment

Sec. – 53. “Punishments.”

Sec. – 53A. “Construction of reference to transportation.”

Sec. – 54. “Commutation of sentence of death.”

Sec. – 55. “Commutation of sentence of imprisonment for life.”

Sec. – 55A. Definition of “appropriate Government”.

Sec. – 56. [Repealed.].

Sec. – 57. “Fractions of terms of punishment.”

Sec. – 58. [Repealed.].

Sec. – 59. [Repealed.].

Sec. – 60. “Sentence may be (in certain cases of imprisonment) wholly or partly rigorous or simple.”

Sec. – 61. [Repealed.].

Sec. – 62. [Repealed.].

Sec. – 63. “Amount of fine.”

Sec. – 64. “Sentence of imprisonment for non-payment of fine.”

Sec. – 65. “Limit to imprisonment for non-payment of fine, when imprisonment and fine awardable.”

Sec. – 66. “Description of imprisonment for non-payment of fine.”

Sec. – 67. “Imprisonment for non-payment of fine, when offence punishable with fine only.”

Sec. – 68. “Imprisonment to terminate on payment of fine.”

Sec. – 69. “Termination of imprisonment on payment of proportional part of fine.”

Sec. – 70. “Fine leviable within six years, of during imprisonment. Death not to discharge property from liability.”

Sec. – 71. “Limit of punishment of offence made up of several offences.”

Sec. – 72. “Punishment of person guilty of one of several offences, the judgment stating that is doubtful of which.”

Sec. – 73. “Solitary confinement.”

Sec. – 74. “Limit of solitary confinement.”

Sec. – 75. “Enhanced punishment for certain offences under Chapter XII or Chapter XVII after previous conviction.”

Sec. – 53. “Punishments.”

There are five types of punishment to which ofenders are liable under the provisions of this Code :

First.—Death;

Secondly.—Imprisonment for life;

Thirdly. – Repealed by Act XVII of 1949.

Fourthly.—Imprisonment, which is of two descriptions, namely:

(i) Rigorous, that is, with hard labour;

(ii) Simple;

Fifthly.—Forfeiture of property;

Sixthly.—Fine.

.

1. Death

Q. In which Sections death penalty can be given?

Death punishment is awarded for murder in rarest of the rare cases ( Bachan Singh v State of Punjab, 1980 CrLJ 636)

Death Penalty can be given as punishment for the following offences:-

2. Imprisonment for Life

Imprisonment for life is now substituted for transportation. “Imprisonment for Life”

means “ rigorous imprisonment for life” and not simple imprisonment for life. (Laxman Naskar v State of WB, 2000 CrLJ 4017)

It can be given as punishment in following offences:

Meaning of Imprisonment for Life

Gopal vinayak Gdose v State AIR 1961, SC 600 It is held that imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life.

3. Repealed

4. Imprisonment

Imprisonment is of two kinds:

  • Rigorous ( In the case of rigorous imprisonment, the offender is put to hard labour.) Such as grinding corn, digging earth, drawing water cutting firewood, bowing wool etc.
  • Simple ( In the case of simple imprisonment, the offender is confined to jail and not put to any kind of work.)

5. Forfeiture of Property

The punishment of absolute of all property of the offender is now abolished. Sections 61 and 62 of the IPC, 1860 dealing with such forfeiture are repealed by Act XVI of 1921.

There are, only three offences in which the offender is liable to forfeiture of specific property. They are sections 126, 127 and 169 of the code. ( RS Joshi v Ajit Mills, AIR 1977 SC 2279)

6. Fine

Fine is the only punishment in the following Offences.

Sec. 53A. Construction of reference to transportation

[ Inserted by Act 26 of 1955, Section 117 and Sch.( w.e.f. 1-1-1956)]

  • Whenever Transportation for life has been given then it shall be considered L.I.
  • W/e Sentence of transportation for a term has been given before  the commencement of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1955 (26 of 1955) then remaining time period shall be considered rigorous imprisonment.
  • Whenever transportation is for any time period, then although it is called by any name, it shall be considered omitted.
  • If transportation is in any law-
  • Transportation for life – L.I.
  • Transportation for a term – Omitted

After this amendment of the code ‘ transportation’ as a sentence has been done away with as a punishment of imprisonment for life.

Sec. – 54. Commutation of sentence of death.

  • Whenever Sentence of death shall have been passed in any case then appropriate Government can commute the punishment for any other punishment provided by the code without consent of accused.

Cases where the death sentence was modified to a particular period ( or life) with further directions.

  1. Subhash Chander v Krishan Lal, (2001) 6 SCC 296.
  2. State of UP v Sanjay Kumar, (2013) 8 SCC 537.
  3. Brajendra Singh v State of MP, (2012) 4 SCC 289.
  4. Guruvali Singh @ Gala v State of Punjab(2013) 2 SCC 713.
  5. Sandeep v State of UP, ( 2012) 6 SCC 107.
  6. Neel Kumar @ Anil Kumar v The State of Haryana, ( 2012) 5 SCC766.

Sec. –  55. Commutation of Sentence of imprisonment for life.

  • Whenever Sentence of imprisonment for life shall have been passed in any case then appropriate Government can commute the punishment for imprisonment which shall not be more than 14 years without consent of accused.

Q. Can A court give any direction of commutation of sentence of death or commutation of sentence of imprisonment of life?

No, Only appropriate Govt. can commute ( State v Madhav Shanker , 1982 CrLJ 1782 Mum.)

Q. Can an convict  demand of commutation of  his L. I. for 14 years of imprisonment as a right?

No, L.I. means the  remaining period of natural life of covicted person.So Convicted person can not demand of commutation of  his L. I. for 14 years of imprisonment as a right.(Ashok Kumar v UoI, AIR 1991 SC 1792)

Sec. 55A  Appropriate Government

Wherever Executive power of Govt. of State – State Govt.

Wherever Executive power of Central Govt. – Central Government

Case Law- Hanumant Dass v Vinay Kumar, AIR 1982 SC 1052

The apprppriate govt. empowered to remit the sentence of a person convicted of offences under Sections489 – A to 489 – D of the IPC, 1860 is the central govt, not the state govt.

Sec. – 56. [Repealed.] by Act XVII of 1949

Sec. – 57. “Fractions of terms of punishment.”

  • Whenever Life imprisonment is to be calculated in fractions ( 1/2 , ¼ etc.) then life imprisonment ( L.I.) =20 years
Sec. – 58. [Repealed.] by Act XXVI of 1955
Sec. – 59. [Repealed.] by Act XXVI of 1955

Sec. – 60. “Sentence may be wholly or partly rigorous or simple (in certain cases of imprisonment).”

Sec. – -61. Repealed by the Indian Penal Code ( Amendment ) Act, 1921 ( XVI of 1921)
Sec. – 62. Repealed by the Indian Penal Code ( Amendment ) Act, 1921 ( XVI of 1921)

Sec. – 63. “Amount of fine.”

  • When there is not fixed any upper limit for the amount of fine in respect of a particular offence, then it may be unlimited to which the offender is liable but shall not be excessive

Sec. – 64. “Sentence of imprisonment for non-payment of fine.”

  • Where the offence is punishable with
  • imprisonment with fine, or
  • imprisonment or fine, or
  • fine only,
  • And the offender is sentenced to (i) imprisonment, or (ii) fine, or both,
  • The Court may sentence the offender to a term of imprisonment  in default of payment of fine.
  • The offender shall suffer imprisonment for a certain term in which shall be in excess of any other imprisonment to which he has been sentenced  or to which he is liable under a commutation of a sentence.

Sec. – 65. “Limit to imprisonment for non-payment of fine, when imprisonment and fine awardable.”

  • Where the offence is punishable with imprisonment as well as fine, the term of imprisonment which the court directs to the offender in default of payment of a fine shall not exceed one – fourth of the term of imprisonment which is the fixed for the offence

Sec. – 66. “Description of imprisonment for non-payment of fine.”

  • The imprisonment in default of payment of a fine may be either rigorous or simple.

Sec. – 67. “Imprisonment for non-payment of fine, when offence punishable with fine only.”

  • When the offence is punishable with fine only, the imprisonment which the court imposes in default of payment of fine shall be simple, and the term for which the court directs the offender shall not exceed the following scale,
  • When the amount of the fine shall not exceed fifty rupees – Two months
  • When the amount of the fine shall not exceed one hundred  rupees – Four month
  •  For in any other case – Six month

Sec. – 68. “Imprisonment to terminate on payment of fine.”

  • When the imprisonment which is imposed in default of payment of a fine then it shall terminate if the fine is either paid or levied by process of law.

Sec. – 69. “Termination of imprisonment on payment of proportional part of fine.”

  • If, Such a proportion of the fine be paid or levied before the expiration of the term of imprisonment fixed in default of payment,
  • That the term of imprisonment suffered in default of payment is not less than proportional to the part of the fine still unpaid,
  • The imprisonment shall terminate.

Illustration

  • P is sentenced to a fine of one hundred rupees and to four months’ imprisonment in default of payment. Here, if seventy-five rupees of the fine be paid or levied before the expiration of one month of the imprisonment, P will be discharged as soon as the first month has expired.
  •  If seventy-five rupees be paid or levied at the time of the expiration of the first month, or at any later time while P continues in imprisonment, P will be immediately discharged.
  • If fifty rupees of the fine be paid or levied before the expiration of two months of the imprisonment. P will be discharged as soon as the two months are completed. If fifty rupees be paid or levied at the time of the expiration of those two months, or at any later time while P continues in imprisonment, P will be immediately discharged.

Sec. – 70. “Fine leviable within six years, of during imprisonment. Death not to discharge property from liability.”

  • The fine, which remains unpaid, may be levied at any time within six years after the passing of the sentence,
  • If under the sentence, the offender be liable to imprisonment for a longer period than six years, then any time of that period of imprisonment; even the death of the offender can not discharge from the liability any property which would be legally liable for his debts after his death.
  • Imprisonment in default of fine does not liberate the offender from his liability to pay the full amount of fine imposed on him.
  • Such imprisonment is not a discharge or satisfaction of the fine but is imposed as a punishment for non payment of contempt or resistance to the due  execution of the sentence.
  • The liability for any sentence of imprisonment awarded in default of payment of fine continues after the expiration of 6 years (Ganu Sakharam, (1884) unrep. Cr C 207.)

Sec. – 71. “Limit of punishment of offence made up of several offences.”

  • When an offence is made up by several parts, each of which constitutes  an offence, the offender shall not be punished with the punishment for  more than one offences unless expressly provided.
  • When  an offence falls  within two or more separate definitions of offences which are defined or punished by any law in force for the time. or
  • When several acts, of which one or more than one would by itself or themselves constitute an offence, when combined, constitute a different offence,
  • The offender shall not be punished with a more severe punishment than the Court which tries him could award for any one of such offences.

Illustrations

  • P gives Z fifty strokes with a stick. P has committed the offence of voluntarily causing hurt to Z by giving strokes as the whole beating, and also by each of the blows which make up the whole beating. If P were liable to punishment for every blow, he might be imprisoned for fifty years, one for each blow. But he is liable only one punishment for the whole beating.
  • But, while P is beating Z, Y interferes, and P intentionally strikes Y, here, as the blow given to Y is no part of the act whereby P voluntarily causes hurt to Z, P is liable to one punishment for voluntarily causing hurt to Z, and to another for the blow given to Y.

It should be read with Sec.220 of CrPC & Sec. 26 of General clause act.

Case Law:Ramanaya v State, 1977 CrLJ 467 ( Pat.)

  • The section governs the whole code and regulates the limit of punishment in cases in which the greater offence is made up of two or more minor offences.
  • It is not a rule of adjective law or procedure law but a rule of substantive law regulating the measure of punishment.
  • Therefore, it does not affect the question of conviction, which relates to the province of procedure.
  • Sec. 71IPC, 1860 as well as section 26 of the general clause Act, 1897 talk only of punishment and not to conviction.Thus, conviction of the accused in respect of the same act for two different offences is quite legal

Re Natrajan, 1976 CrLJ 1502 ( Mad);

The section contemplates separate punishment for an offence against the same law and not under different laws. Where offences are committed under two separate enactments, section 71 IPC, 1860 is not helpful to the accused and as such, two separate sentences cannot be questioned by pressing section 71 into service.

Mahendra bhai V state of Gujarat AIR 2012 SC 2844

  • In order to attract the provisions of article 20(2) of the Constitution ie. doctrine of autrefois acquit or section 300 CrPC, 1973 or Section 71, IPC 1860 or section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 ingredients of the offences in the earlier cases as well as in the latter case must be the same and not different. Whether the two offences are the same ,the test to ascertain is not identity of the allegations but the identity of the ingredients of the offence.

 Sec. – 72. “Punishment of person guilty of one of several offences, the judgment stating that is doubtful of which.”

  • If In any case, a person is guilty of one of several offences specified in the judgment,

     but it is doubtful of which of these offences he is guilty,

  •  then offender shall be liable for the offence for which the lowest punishment is awarded if the same punishment is not awarded for all.

Sec. – 73. “Solitary confinement.”

  • Whenever any person is convicted of an offence for which the Court has power to sentence him to rigorous imprisonment under this Code,
  • Then the court may order that the offender shall be kept in solitary confinement for any portion or portions of the imprisonment                                                                                                                                                        , not more than three months in the whole,

 According to the following manner :-

  • If the period of imprisonment is not more than  six months; then solitary confinement may be till one month.
  • If the period of imprisonment is not more than one year; then solitary confinement may be till two months.
  •  If the period of imprisonment is more than one year, then solitary confinement may be till three months.

74. Limit of solitary confinement.

In executing a sentence of solitary confinement,

  • Such confinement may not be exceed fourteen days at a time in any case, and there should be intervals of same period between the periods of solitary confinement.
  • And when the imprisonment is more than three months, the solitary confinement may not exceed seven days in any one month of the whole imprisonment, and there should be intervals  of  same period between the periods of solitary confinement.

75. “Enhanced punishment for certain offences under Chapter XII or Chapter XVII after previous conviction.”

  • This section does not constitute a separate offence but only impose a liability to enhanced punishment.
  • Where a person who has been, previously convicted of an offence punishable under chapter XII ( which deals with offences relating to coins and government stamps) or chapter XVII ( which relates to offences against property) with imprisonment of either description for a term of three years or up – wards,  is once again found guilty of a similar offence, he shall be liable to enhanced punishment which may extend to imprisonment for life or to imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years.
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