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Sham Singh Vs. State of Punjab - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1980CriLJ1160
AppellantSham Singh
RespondentState of Punjab
Excerpt:
.....to seek redress against the same in appeal. if a party does not know about the making of the order either actually or constructively it may claim that the period of limitation would start running from the date it acquires knowledge of the making of an order but one cannot understand how a party, who has acquired knowledge of the making an order either directly or constructively can ignore the same and belatedly seek redress just because the authority making the order had made a default in formally communicating the order to him. allowing a party to do so would amount to placing a premium on the lack of diligence of a party, who is remiss in seeking a remedy that was available to it. therefore, knowledge whether actual or construction of the order passed by the state or regional..........by the additional sessions judge, bhatinda on march 24, 1973, and he has since completed six years rigorous sub-stantive sentence on march 23, 1979 and presently is undergoing sentence in default of payment of fine. the petitioner has moved the present habeas corpus petition alleging that his detention for undergoing sentence in default of payment of fine is unauthorised and illegal inasmuch as the limitation prescribed under section 70 of the indian penal code for the recovery of fine imposed has since expired. the petitioner has, therefore, ceased to remain liable to undergo imprisonment in default of payment of fine because it cannot now be recovered. he has prayed that the authorities be directed to release him forthwith.3. sections 68 and 69, indian penal code, which deal with.....
Judgment:
ORDER

J.M. Tandon, J.

1. Sham Singh son of Pritam Singh stands convicted under Sections 408 and 468, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced to five years, rigorous imprisonment, and a fine of Rs. 20,000/- in default of payment of which further rigorous imprisonment for two years under the first count, and to three years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5000/- in default of payment of which further rigorous imprisonment for six months under the second. In another case, he stands convicted under Section 408, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced to one year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 500/-; in default of payment of which further rigorous imprisonment for four months. In the third case, he again stands convicted under Sections 408 and 468, Indian Penal Code and sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000/- in default of payment of which further rigorous imprisonment for 11/2 years under the first count, and to three years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5000/- in default of payment of which further rigorous imprisonment for six months under the second. All the sub-stantive sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

2. According to the petitioner he was convicted by the Additional Sessions Judge, Bhatinda on March 24, 1973, and he has since completed six years rigorous sub-stantive sentence on March 23, 1979 and presently is undergoing sentence in default of payment of fine. The petitioner has moved the present habeas corpus petition alleging that his detention for undergoing sentence in default of payment of fine is unauthorised and illegal inasmuch as the limitation prescribed under Section 70 of the Indian Penal Code for the recovery of fine imposed has since expired. The petitioner has, therefore, ceased to remain liable to undergo imprisonment in default of payment of fine because it cannot now be recovered. He has prayed that the authorities be directed to release him forthwith.

3. Sections 68 and 69, Indian Penal Code, which deal with imprisonment in default of payment of fine read:

68. Imprisonment to terminate on payment of fine. The imprisonment which is imposed in default of payment of a fine shall terminate whenever that fine is either paid or levied by process of law.

69. Termination of imprisonment on payment of proportional part of fine. If, before the expiration of the term of imprisonment fixed in default of payment, such a proportion of the fine be paid or levied that the term of imprisonment suffered in default of payment is not less then proportional to the part of the fine still unpaid, the imprisonment shall terminate.

3-A. These two sections are clear that the imprisonment in default of payment of fine is to terminate on payment of fine or its levy by process of law and not otherwise.

4. Section 70, Indian Penal Code, prescribes limitation for the recovery of fine and it reads:

70. Fine leviable within six years, or during imprisonment. Death not to discharge property from liability:The fine, or any part thereof which remains unpaid, may be levied at any time within six years after the passing of the sentence, and, if under the sentence, the offender be liable to imprisonment for a longer period then six years, then at any time previous to the expiration of that period; and the death of the offender does not discharge from the liability any property which would, after his death, be legally liable for his debts.

5. Sections 68 and 69 are independent of Section 70. The expiry of limitation for levy of fine imposed under Section 70, Indian Penal Code, would in no way affect the liability of the convict to undergo imprisonment in default of payment of fine under Section 68. The argument of the learned Counsel for the petitioner that the, petitioner ceases to remain liable to undergo imprisonment in default of payment of fine after the expiry of the limitation prescribed under Section 70, Indian Penal Code, is outright fallacious. His liability to undergo the sentence of imprisonment in default of payment of fine will cease only after the fine imposed is levied or paid irrespective of the expiry of limitaton for its recovery. It is admitted that the fine imposed on the petitioner has neither been levied nor paid so far. The petitioner, under these circumstances, shall have to undergo the sentence of imprisonment awarded to him in default of payment of fine imposed.

6. In the result, the detention of the petitioner being neither unauthorised nor illegal, the petition fails and is dismissed.


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