The penalties can only be made concurrent if offenses arise from a single transaction: High Court of Karnataka

The Karnataka High Court has ruled that only substantive sentences can be made concurrent if it is a single transaction. If the transaction is different, the said concession cannot be given to the accused. In the case of penalties by default, there can be no order of concurrent penalties.

A single bench of Judge HP Sandesh, while dismissing a petition, said: “I want to make it clear that default sentences cannot be handed down as concurrent and the same should be consecutive with regard to the substantive sentence , this Court must consider every case that comes before the Court, whether the transactions result from the same transaction or from a different transaction. “

Petitioners’ submissions:

Petitioner C Bharati had gone to court to ask the Director General of the Central Prison to immediately release her from prison for the following cases in which the petitioner had been convicted of the offense punishable under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and suffering a substantive penalty and a default penalty.

It was argued that the petitioner had been serving his sentence since 08.02.2017 and had already served the sentence more than 27 months before the petition was lodged. In accordance with the penalties in all cases, the applicant is required to serve a total of 60 months of sentence. Although the trial court handed down sentences in different cases, but in all cases the offenses are similar in nature, except that the plaintiffs are different parties but the accused is the same and more, several checks are issued in a single transaction. Thus, the court of first instance should have convicted the applicant in all cases, imposing concurrent and non-consecutive sentences.

The following Supreme Court judgments were relied on: State of Punjab v. Madan Lal reported in AIR 2009 SC (Supp) 2836. Order of the Supreme Court in the case of VK Bansal v. State of Haryana and a other reported in (2013) 7 Supreme Judicial Cases 211. Shyam Pal v. Dayawati Besoya and another reported in (2016) 10. Ammavasai and another c. Police inspector, Valliyanur and others reported in AIR 2000 Supreme Court 3544.

The complainant opposed the plea:

It has been argued that when the plaintiffs are different and the same cannot be characterized as a single transaction as ruled by the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are different and the transactions are different and the cause of the actions is also different. When this is the case, there can be no concurrent sentence order and it should be consecutive only. It is also argued that the default sentence is a continuing offense and that the same cannot be a concurrent sentence. The learned lawyer would argue that article 427 of the Cr.PC is not applicable and that the applicant cheated here more than 3.5 crore of rupees.

The prison department opposed the plea:

The High Court government litigant appearing for Defendant # 2 argued that only substantive sentences can be ordered to run concurrently and that sentences for failure to pay a fine / compensation cannot not be ordered to run simultaneously.

Findings of the Court:

The court said: “Taking into account the principles set out in the judgments referred to above, it is clear that if it is a single transaction, then the applicant has the right that the order executes the sentence simultaneously, if it is not a single transaction, different and independent transaction, then the petitioner is not entitled to the benefit ”.

In reviewing the cases cited, the court observed: “Taking into account the principles set out in the above cases, it is clear that only substantive sentences can be made concurrent if it is a single transaction. If the operation is different, the said concession cannot be granted to the petitioner. “

He then reviewed each of the cases for which the Applicant is convicted and found that “After going through the factual aspects of each case, it appeared that it was not a single transaction. In seven cases there were loan transactions between the parties and the transactions date from 2014 and 2015 and in other cases the plaintiffs are the underwriters of two vouchers and these two transactions are also different transactions. When this is the case, when the transactions are different, the question of placing an order by invoking Article 427 (1) of the Cr.PC, the sentence must be executed at the same time as the preceding sentences does not arise. . “

He added: “The legal situation favors the exercise of discretion for the benefit of detainees in cases where prosecutions are based on a single transaction, although different complaints in this regard could have been filed. The concession cannot be extended to transactions which are distinctly different, separate and independent of each other and, inter alia, where the parties are not the same. “

The court also noted that the fine of Rs 3, 11, 10 000 / – had been imposed apart from the imprisonment and the default penalty for non-payment in the 10 cases. Consequently, neither can the petitioner claim that she can be granted the benefit under article 427 of the Cr.C.PC taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case for having had a liability. to such an extent.

Accordingly, he dismissed the request.

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