Tuesday 9 August 2022

Whether the trial court can suspend sentence of convict in his absence when application to that effect is filed by his Advocate?

 It is difficult for me to concur with the view taken by the Kerala High Court that in the cases arising from the Negotiable Instruments Act, upon   conviction, the accused automatically enjoys the benefit of Section 389(3)   of the Cr.P.C. Of course, an application can be filed under Section 389(3)   of the Code and the Court may pass an appropriate order in accordance   with law. The question is about the personal presence of the accused for   the purpose of passing an appropriate order upon the application under   Section 389(3) of the Code. {Para 35}

36 I am of the view that in the absence of the convict accused, the learned   advocate  appearing  for  him  cannot  prefer  an  application  under  Section   389(3)  of the Code for suspension of the sentence  to enable  the convict   accused to prefer an appeal before the Sessions Court. When an order is   passed under Section 389(3) of the Code for suspension of the sentence by   the   trial   Court   to   enable   the   accused   to   prefer   an   appeal   before   the   Sessions   Court,   then   the   accused   has   to   furnish   bail   with   necessary   sureties. He has to execute the bail bonds. The order under Section 389(3)   of the Code will come into force only when the accused furnishes the bail   bonds. In such circumstances, in his absence, the learned advocate cannot   be   permitted   to   file   such   an   application.   There   is   one   more   reason   in   taking this view. If it is permissible for the learned advocate defending the   accused   to   file   an   application   under   Section   389(3)   of   the   Code   for   suspension of the sentence in the absence of the accused being personally   present before the learned Magistrate, then the same would render Section   418(2) of the Code otiose or redundant. If the convicted person is released   on bail under Section 389(3) of the Code and such person has to furnish   the   bail,   how   this   process   will   be   undertaken   in   the   absence   of   the   convicted  accused.  I am of the  view that the  learned  Magistrate  rightly   observed  in the  order  that  the  application  under  Section  389(3)  of the   Code was not maintainable since the convicted accused was not personally   present   before   the   Court.   Thus,   the   fourth   question   is   answered   accordingly. 

Gujarat High Court
Ishwarbhai Hirabhai Chunara vs State Of Gujarat & on 22 February, 2017

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