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General Provisions Regarding Execution under Section 425-431 of Code of Criminal Procedure

If a sentence of death, life-imprisonment or fine is passed against an escaped convict, the sentence is to take effect immediately. If, however, a sentence of imprisonment for a given term is passed on such a person,—

(a) If such sentence is more severe in kind than the sentence which such convict was undergoing when he escaped, the new sentence is to take effect immediately,

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(b) If such a sentence is not more severe in kind than the sentence which such convict was undergoing when he escaped, the new sentence is to take effect after he has suffered imprisonment for a further period equal to that which remained unexpired (of his former sentence) at the time of his escape.

For the above purpose, a sentence of rigorous imprisonment is deemed to be more severe in kind than a sentence of simple imprisonment.

When a person who is already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced to further imprisonment or to life-imprisonment on a subsequent conviction, such imprisonment or life-imprisonment is to commence at the expiry of the imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced, —unless the Court directs that the subsequent sentence is to run concurrently with the previous sentence.

If a person who is already undergoing a sentence or life-imprisonment is sentenced to imprisonment for a term, or life-imprisonment on a
subsequent conviction, the subsequent sentence runs concurrently with the previous sentence.

S. 428, which contains a new provision introduced by the 1973 Code, provides that where an accused person has, on conviction, been sentenced to imprisonment for any term (not being imprisonment in default of the payment of fine), the period of detention undergone by him during the investigation, inquiry or trial of that case before the date of cinviction is to be set off against the term of imprisonment imposed on him. In other words, his liability to undergo imprisonment is restricted to the remainder, if any, of the term of the imprisonment imposed on him.

Formerly, there was a doubt as to whether this section would apply to imprisonment which is awarded in default of payment of fine. The 1978 Amendment set the doubt to rest, by clarifying that the section does not apply to such cases.

An interesting question which arose before the Supreme Court was whether this section is confined to cases where a person is convicted after the coming into force of the new Code, or it also covers cases where a person has been convicted before, but his sentence is still running on the date when the new Code came into force. The answer to this question was given by the Supreme Court in B.P. Andre v. Superintendent, Central Jail (A.I.R. 1975 S.C., 164) in the following words:

“This section, on a plain, natural construction of its language, posits for its applicability, a fact situation which is described by the clause “Where an accused person has, on conviction, been sentenced to imprisonment for a term”. There is nothing in this clause which suggests, either expressly or by necessary implication, that the conviction and sentence must be after the coming into force of the new Code of Criminal Procedure. The language of the clause is neutral. It does not refer to any particular point of time when the accused person should have been convicted and sentenced. It merely indicates a fact situation which must exist in order to attract the applicability of the section, and this fact situation would be satisfied equally where an accused person has been convicted and sentenced before or after the coming into force of the new Code of Criminal Procedure”.

In another case, the Supreme Court observed that it is clear from S. 428 itself that, even though the conviction was prior to the enforcement of the new Code, the benefit of that section would be available to such a conviction. This is so because the section does not contemplate any challenge to the conviction or sentence. It merely confers a benefit on a convict, reducing his liability to undergo imprisonment for the period he has already served as an under trial prisoner. (Suraj Bhan v. Îm Prakash — A.I.R. 1976 S.C. 648)

It is further provided that if an award of imprisonment in default of payment of fine is annexed to a substantive sentence of imprisonment, and the person undergoing the sentence is, after its execution, to undergo a further substantive sentence or sentences of imprisonment, effect is not to be given to the award of imprisonment in default of payment of fine, until such person has undergone such further sentence or sentences.

When a sentence has been fully executed, the Officer executing it must return the warrant to the Court from which it was issued, with an endorsement by him certifying the manner in which the sentence was executed. (S. 430)

Any money other than a fine payable by virtue of any order made under the Criminal Procedure Code, the method of recovery of which is not expressly provided for, is to be recovered as if it was a fine. (S. 431)

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