V.P. Tyagi C.J.
1. Convict Bhimsen has sent this application through the Jail authority praying that the period of detention already undergone by him during the investigation and trial be given a set off against the sentence for life imprisonment awarded to him.
2. Section 428 of the New Code of Criminal Procedure has made a provision for giving a set off for a period detention already undergone by the accused during the investigation, inquiry or trial, but according to this provision this set off can be allowed only when the accused has been sentenced to an imprisonment for a term. In the present case the accused was sentenced to imprisonment for life. The Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Ratan Singh : 1976CriLJ1192 , has determined this question whether imprisonment for life can be treated as one for a term of 20 years. The learned Judges have observed as follows:
A sentence for life would enure till the lifetime of the accused as it is not possible to fix a particular period of the prisoner's death so any remission given under the Rules could not be regarded as a substitute for a sentence of transportation for life. The rules framed under the Prisons Act or under the Jail Manual do not affect the total period which the prisoner has to suffer but merely amount to administrative instructions regarding the various remissions to be given to the prisoner from time to time in accordance with the rules. The question of remission of the entire sentence or a part of it lies within the exclusive domain of the appropriate Government under Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and neither Section 57 of the Penal Code nor any Rules or local Acts can stultify the effect of the sentence of life imprisonment given by the Court under Penal Code. The prisoner cannot be released automatically on the expiry of 20 years.' In view of these observations of the Supreme Court the prisoner cannot claim that he was sentenced to imprisonment for a term. No set off can, therefore, be claimed under Section 428, Cr.P.C. for the period of detention undergone during the investigation, inquiry or trial, if the sentence awarded to the prisoner is a sentence for life.
3. The application of the convict is, therefore, rejected. He may be informed accordingly.