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Katapagarri Venkata Reddy Vs. the Inspector General of Prisons, Andhra Pradesh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. No. 3571 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1982CriLJ1844
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 302; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 427(2), 429(1), 432 and 433A
AppellantKatapagarri Venkata Reddy
RespondentThe Inspector General of Prisons, Andhra Pradesh and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK.G. Kannabhiran, Adv.
Respondent AdvocatePublic Prosecutor
Excerpt:
.....who had undergone total sentence of five years shall be released - accused were convicted for life imprisonment in one case on 17.11.1975 - they were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in another case on 31.12.1976 - prisoners undergone two sentences concurrently from 31.12.1976 - by 01.12.1980 they had undergone total sentence of five years in first case - in second case they did not complete five years - held, they cannot be released under provisions of go. - motor vehicles act (59 of 1988)section 149 (2): [v. gopala gowda & jawad rahim, jj] insurers entitlement to defend the action joint appeal by insured and insurer - held, the language employed in enacting sub-section (2) of section 149 appears to be plain and simple and there is no ambiguity in it. it shows that..........court set aside the order of acquittal convicted them under s. 302, i.p.c. and sentenced them to life imprisonment. by its order dated 29th march, 1979 the high court directed that the sentences of life imprisonment awarded to them in the criminal appeal should run concurrently with the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon them in sessions case no. 97/1974, as provided under s. 427(2), cr.p.c. 2. the government of andhra pradesh in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the formation of the state of andhra pradesh and in exercise of its powers under s. 432, cr.p.c., issued g.o.ms. no. 557 dated 30th october 1980 home, (prisons-c) department, remitting and reducing the sentence of various categories of prisoners in the state. paragraph 2 of that order is as follows :- '(a).....
Judgment:

Gangadhara Rao, J.

1. This petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus is filed to release (1) Katapagarri Peda Narayana Reddy (2) Suram Nagireddy (3) Suram Narassiah and (4) Katapagarri Chinna Musalappa, who are now lodged in the Central Prison, Chenchalguda, Hyderabad. In Sessions Case No. 97/1974 they were convicted under S. 302, I.P.C. and sentenced to imprisonment for life on 17th November, 1975 by the Additional Sessions Judge, Ananthapur. The Criminal appeal filed by them was dismissed by the High Court. They were also accused in Sessions Case No. 38 of 1972 on the file of the Sessions Judge Ananthapur. They were charged for an offence under S. 302, I.P.C. They were acquitted by the Sessions Judge on 2nd November, 1974. The State preferred an appeal against their acquittal in the High Court. On 31st December 1976 the High Court set aside the order of acquittal convicted them under S. 302, I.P.C. and sentenced them to life imprisonment. By its order dated 29th March, 1979 the High Court directed that the sentences of life imprisonment awarded to them in the Criminal Appeal should run concurrently with the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon them in Sessions Case No. 97/1974, as provided under S. 427(2), Cr.P.C.

2. The Government of Andhra Pradesh in order to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh and in exercise of its powers under S. 432, Cr.P.C., issued G.O.Ms. No. 557 dated 30th October 1980 Home, (Prisons-C) Department, remitting and reducing the sentence of various categories of prisoners in the State. Paragraph 2 of that Order is as follows :-

'(a) Except the prisoners sentenced for life who are governed by S. 433-A. Cr.P.C. all other convicts who have undergone a total sentence of 5 years as on 31-10-1980 shall be released.

(b) all prisoners with a sentence of one year and above shall be granted a special remission of one month for each year of sentence awarded.

(c) All prisoners with a sentence below one year shall be granted a special remission of fifteen days.

(d) all prisoners other than life convicts over sixty years of age as on 31-10-1980 shall be released.'

3. In view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Maru Ram v. Union of India, : 1980CriLJ1440 , Criminal P.C. is not applicable to them, as they were convicted before 18th December 1978.

4. The order of the Government was also the subject matter of Criminal Appeal No. 247/1981 before the Supreme Court. While reversing the judgment of our High Court the Supreme Court interpreted clause 2(a) of the G.P. in the following manner :-

'Under clause (a) all convicts who have undergone a total sentence of five years as on October 31, 1980 except prisoners sentenced for life and who are governed by S. 433-A have to be released. This means that 'life convicts' who are governed by S. 433-A. Code of Criminal Procedure are not to be released even if they have undergone a total sentence of five years as on October 31, 1980. All other are to be released. Therefore, life convicts who are not governed by S. 433-A, Criminal P.C. and who have undergone a total sentence of five years are entitled to be released.'

5. Basing on this judgment of the Supreme Court, the learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that after taking into account the remand period and the remissions earned by them, the four prisoners have completed five years of imprisonment by 31st October 1980 and since the sentences were made to run concurrently by the order of this court it should be held that there is only one sentence of the life imprisonment and, consequently, they should be released from jail forthwith.

6. It is not disputed that in the first sessions case in which the four persons were convicted for life imprisonment on 17th November 1975, they have undergone a total sentence of five years as on 31st October 1980. It is not also disputed that in the second Sessions Case they were sentenced to life imprisonment on 31st December 1976 and they have not undergone a total sentence of five years by 31st October 1980. It is true that this court has directed that the sentence in the Second Sessions Case should run concurrently with the sentence in the first Sessions Case. It means that it could run concurrently only from 31st December 1976. It could not run concurrently from 17th November 1975. From 17th November 1975 there was only one sentence which the petitioners were undergoing till 31st December 1976, when they started undergoing concurrent sentence. It is not correct to state that when the Court directs that two sentences should run concurrently they merge into one sentence. The word 'concurrent' means, meeting in the same point; running, coming, acting or existing together, coinciding; accompanying. 'Concurrently' means, agreeing (See Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, New Edition, 1972, page 270). When two sentences are directed to run concurrently, it means, they run together. A prisoner that directed to undergo two sentences concurrently has to undergo both the sentences only once for the duration of that period of concurrence.

7. The point could be illustrated from another angle also. Suppose, a prisoner is convicted and sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment on 1st January 1980. Suppose the same prisoner is convicted in another case for five years on 1st January 1982 and it is directed in that case that sentence should run concurrently with the sentence in the first case. In the first case, he will complete five years by 31st December 1984. In the second case he will complete five years by 31st December 1986. It does not mean that he would be released on 31st December 1984. He would be released only on 31st December 1986. He has the benefit of undergoing the concurrent sentence only from 1st January 1982 till 31st December 1984, that is, for a period of three years. The reason is obvious. Till 1st January 1982 there is only one sentence. From 1st January 1985 also there is only one sentence. It is only from 1st January 1982 till 31st December 1984 there are two sentences running concurrently.

8. In Juvansingh Jadeja v. State (1973) 14 Guj LR 104 a Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court held :-

'A concurrent sentence carries the inbuilt conception of the prisoner undergoing the sentences in connection with the two different punishments imposed in two different case simultaneously or concurrently at the same time. The law has resorted to a fiction and has treated the sentence being undergone by the prisoner as being undergone for both the offences simultaneously. This is for the benefit of the prisoner because otherwise he would have to undergo the two sentences consecutively. Merely because the sentence for the offence under Section 302 was imposed earlier in point of time, it cannot be said that what is being undergone at present is the sentence imposed under that section and not the sentence imposed on him one year later in December 1969.'

9. The learned counsel for the petitioners has invited our attention to Section 427(2), Criminal P.C. 1973 which says that when a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment for a term or imprisonment for life, the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with such previous sentence. He argued that in view of this section when the two sentences have to run concurrently, there is really one sentence. For the reasons already given by us. We find it difficult to agree with him. In this connection we may refer to S. 429(1). Cr.P.C. which provides that nothing in S. 426 or S. 427 shall be held to excuse any person from any part of the punishment to which he is liable upon his former or subsequent conviction.

10. In the present case it has to be held that the prisoners were undergoing the two sentences concurrently only from 31st December 1976. By 1st December 1980, they have undergone a total sentence of five years in the first case. In the second case they did not complete five years by 31st December 1980. Therefore, they cannot be released under Clause (a) of Paragraph 2 of G.O.Ms. No. 557 dated 30th October, 1980.

11. Consequently, the writ petition is dismissed. No costs. Advocate's fee Rupees 150/-.

12 The learned counsel for the petitioners has made an oral application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. We do not consider that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance that needs to be decided by the Supreme Court nor do we consider that this is a fit case for appeal to the Supreme Court. Hence the oral application is rejected.

13. Petition dismissed.


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