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Emperor Vs. Vaijappa Shivlingappa Humberwadi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Criminal Reference No. 56 of 1935
Judge
Reported in(1935)37BOMLR739; 158Ind.Cas.649
AppellantEmperor
RespondentVaijappa Shivlingappa Humberwadi
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 562(1) - release of offender on probation of good conduct-offence punishable with fine only.;section 562(2) of the criminal procedure code, 1898, applies also to offences punishable with fine only. a person convicted of such an offence can, therefore, be dealt with under that sub-section.;emperor v. kasturi (1926) 28 bom. l.r. 1031, overruled. - .....specified offences or any offences under the indian penal code, punishable with not more than two years' imprisonment, and no previous conviction is proved against him, the court may release him with an admonition. 'it is to be noticed that before the year 1923, section 562 (1) was couched in much narrower terms, and was applicable only to the class of offences which are now dealt with under section 562(l4), including, that is, offences under the indian penal code punishable with not more than two years' imprisonment. in the year 1923 the section was amended so as to extend to offences other than those punishable under the indian penal code, and the phraseology was altered, from the original expression, 'offence punishable with not more than two-years' imprisonment' into 'offence.....
Judgment:

John Beaumont, Kt., C.J.

1. This is a reference made to this Court by the District Magistrate of Belgaum. The accused was convicted under Section 16 of the Motor Vehicles Act, and under that section the only punishment which can be inflicted is one of fine. The accused being a first offender, the trial Court dealt with him under Section 562(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, and required him to enter into a bond to appear and receive sentence when called upon. The District Magistrate has referred the matter to this Court, because in his view Section 562(i) does not apply to an offence punishable with fine only. His view is in accordance with the decision of a bench of this Court in Emperor v. Kasturi : (1926)28BOMLR1031 , and there is also a dictum of this Court to the same effect in Emperor v. Merwanji I.L.R (1928) 52 Bom. 250 : 30 Bom. L.R. 375. The question which this full bench has to consider is whether that construction of Section 562(1) is right. The sub-section provides that when any person not under twenty-one years of age is convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment for not more than seven years, or when any person under twenty-one years of age or any woman is convicted of an offence not punishable with death or transportation for life, and no previous conviction is proved against the offender, then the Court may in its discretion direct that such person be released on entering into a bond to appear and receive sentence when called upon in lieu of inflicting any sentence. ;Section 562(1A) provides that in any case in which a person is convicted of ^certain specified offences or any offences under the Indian Penal Code, punishable with not more than two years' imprisonment, and no previous conviction is proved against him, the Court may release him with an admonition. 'It is to be noticed that before the year 1923, Section 562 (1) was couched in much narrower terms, and was applicable only to the class of offences which are now dealt with under Section 562(L4), including, that is, offences under the Indian Penal Code punishable with not more than two years' imprisonment. In the year 1923 the section was amended so as to extend to offences other than those punishable under the Indian Penal Code, and the phraseology was altered, from the original expression, 'offence punishable with not more than two-years' imprisonment' into 'offence punishable with imprisonment for not more than seven years.' The view which prevailed with this Court in the two cases to which I have referred is that inasmuch as a fine is not imprisonment, the case of an offence punishable only with a fine is not covered by the first part of Section 562 (1). The legislature has not in the section dealt expressly with the case of an offence punishable only with fine. If one takes the language of the section quite literally, it would appear that a person not under twenty-one years of age who is convicted of an offence punishable with a fine,. that punishment not being ' imprisonment for not more than seven years,' cannot be dealt with under the section, whereas a person who is under twenty-one years of age, or any woman, convicted of an offence punishable only with-: a fine, that punishment not being ' death or transportation for life ', can be dealt with under the section, and any person convicted of an offence punishable only with fine which falls within Sub-section (1A) can be dealt with under the section because fine is 'not more than two years' imprisonment.' No rational reason has been suggested by the Government Pleader, nor can I see one, for any distinction being drawn between the case of an adult male person convicted of an offence punishable with fine and any other person so convicted. In construing an Act of Parliament the Court always has to ascertain the intention of the Legislature from the language of the whole enactment, and it sometimes becomes necessary to do a certain amount of violence to the language in which a particular passage is couched in order to give effect to the intention to be gathered from the enactment as a whole. Reading Section 562, Sub-sections (1) and (1A), it seems to me quite clear that they are dealing with cases of first offenders where the conviction is for an offence of less than a certain degree of gravity, the degree of gravity being measured by the maximum punishment which can be imposed for the offence, and the intention is to-enable such first offenders to be dealt with leniently. It is clear that an offence punishable with fine only is an offence of a minor character, of very much less gravity than an offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven. years. Reading the section as a whole, I have no doubt whatever that the expression ' offence punishable with imprisonment for not. more than seven' years' was intended to be read in the same sense as the expression in Sub-section (1A) 'offence punishable with not more than two years' imprisonment,' and that both expressions were intended to cover offences punishable with a less severe sentence than those indicated, and, therefore, to include offences punishable only with fine. In my opinion we ought to treat the case of Emperor v. Kasturi : (1926)28BOMLR1031 as overruled. That being so, we must reject the reference.

N.J. Wadia, J.

2. I agree.

Divatia, J.

3. I concur.


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