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first_imgTop StoriesBenefit Of Probation (PO Act) Is Not Excluded By Mandatory Minimum Sentences Prescribed For IPC Offences: Supreme Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK19 Jan 2021 7:16 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has observed that the benefit of probation under Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 is not excluded by the provisions of the mandatory minimum sentence prescribed for offences under Indian Penal Code.In this case, the accused were convicted under Section 397 IPC and were sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment of 7 years each. When the case reached the Apex Court, it…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has observed that the benefit of probation under Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 is not excluded by the provisions of the mandatory minimum sentence prescribed for offences under Indian Penal Code.In this case, the accused were convicted under Section 397 IPC and were sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment of 7 years each. When the case reached the Apex Court, it was submitted that the dispute had been amicably resolved. Opposing the accused prayer seeking benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, the state contended that the minimum sentence provided by the statute under Section 397 is 7 years and the same cannot be reduced below that period.The Court observed that Section 4 of the Act could come to the aid of the accused as the offence committed, of which they have been found guilty, is not punishable with death or imprisonment for life. The court also added that since they were under 21 years of age on the date of the offence and not on the date of conviction, Section 6 would not come to their aid. Regarding Section 4 invocation, the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy said:”The legal position insofar as invocation of Section 4 is concerned has been analysed in Ishar Das vs. State of Punjab elucidating that nonobstante clause in Section 4 of the Act reflected the legislative intent that provisions of the Act have effect notwithstanding any other law in force at that time. The observation in Ramji Missar (supra) was cited with approval to the effect that in case of any ambiguity, the beneficial provisions of the Act should receive wide interpretation and should not be read in a restricted sense.Regarding the reliance placed on State of Madhya Pradesh v. Vikram Das to contend that the courts cannot impose less than the minimum sentence prescribed by the statute, the bench observed thus: The fact that Section 18 of the Act does not include any other such offences where a mandatory minimum sentence has been prescribed suggests that the Act may be invoked in such other offences. A more nuanced interpretation on this aspect was given in CCE vs. Bahubali. It was opined that the Act may not apply in cases where a specific law enacted after 1958 prescribes a mandatory minimum sentence, and the law contains a non-obstante clause. Thus, the benefits of the Act did not apply in case of mandatory minimum sentences prescribed by special legislation enacted after the Act.It is in this context, it was observed in State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Vikram Das (Supra) that the court cannot award a sentence less than the mandatory sentence prescribed by the statute. We are of the view that the corollary to the aforesaid legal decisions ends with a conclusion that the benefit of probation under the said Act is not excluded by the provisions of the mandatory minimum sentence under Section 397 of IPC, the offence in the present caseThe bench therefore, ordered release of the accused on probation of good conduct under Section 4 of the said Act ‘on their completion of half the sentence and on their entering into a bond with two sureties each to ensure that they maintain peace and good behaviour for the remaining part of their sentence, failing which they can be called upon to serve that part of the sentence.’Advocates Isha Aggarwal and Anirudh Sanganeria argued for the petitioner.CASE: LAKHVIR SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJABCORAM: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh RoyCITATION: LL 2021 SC 27Click here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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