Saturday 25 September 2021

Guidelines of Patna High court for suspension of sentence of convict by Appellate court


111. The discussion, undertaken hereinbefore, may be summarized as follows:—

a. While considering an application for suspension of sentence, the Appellate Court has to record reasons, in writing. The requirement of recording of reasons must be preceded by careful consideration of the relevant aspects of the case at hand including issues of human rights or other relevant aspects as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

b. The mere fact that during the period, when an accused person was on bail during trial, ‘there was no misuse of liberty does not per se warrant suspension of execution of sentence and grant of bail. What really is necessary to be considered by the Court is whether reasons exist, on the merits of the case, to suspend the execution of sentence and, thereafter, grant bail to the appellant.

c. During pendency of an appeal against conviction or sentence or both, temporary or interim or provisional suspension of sentence, on some extremely rare circumstances, is inherent in the jurisdiction of the Appellate Court, under Sec. 389 Cr. P.C. by the doctrine of implied power. Such a recourse must be taken only when pressing circumstances are shown to exist and when the Court is of the opinion that further inquiry would be required before finally disposing of the application for suspension of sentence pending decision on the convict's appeal.

d. It may be equally necessary to mention that circumstances, which show existence of a right within the ambit Article 21 of the Constitution of India, may be considered as valid circumstances, while granting interim suspension pending disposal of an appellant's application seek ing suspension of sentence and bail.

e. Notwithstanding the fact that a prisoner's application for suspension of sentence and his consequent release on bail cannot be allowed on merit or has been rejected on merit, the Appellate Court still retains the power to suspend sentence for such period as the Court may consider imperative, particularly, when the Court finds that such suspension of sentence would make the right to life, guaranteed by Article 21, meaningful. Thus, inordinate delay, in disposal of appeal, terminal ailments, marriage of daughter, performing last rites, etc., are circum stances falling in the broader definition of “right to life” and can become valid grounds for suspension of sentence of a prisoner and his release on bail for a temporary period or until disposal of his substantive appeal.

In the High Court of Patna

(Before I.A. Ansari and V.N. Sinha, JJ.)

Chandra Shekhar Bharti Vs The State of Bihar 

Decided on January 27, 2014

Citation: 2014 SCC OnLine Pat 7874 : (2014) 2 PLJR 756 : (2014) 3 KLT (SN 31) 27 : 2014 Cri LJ 2953

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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