1. This petition is filed by a relation of one Mannicketh Bala-chandran for the issue of a writ of Habeas Corpus for production of the said Mannicketh Balachandran for being dealt with according to Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
2. Mannicketh Balachandran was an ex-naval officer in the Indian Navy. He was tried by the court-Martial at Bombay for certain offences under Section 409, Indian Penal Code read with Section 77 of the Navy Act and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 18 months on 21-8-1972. He was committed to the Central Prison, Bombay, on 22-11-1974 to undergo the sentence. He was convicted by another Court Martial on 12-3-1975 to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 6 months for offences under Sections 77(1) and 41(e) of the Navy Act. The Court ordered that the sentences should run consecutively. In all, therefore, the detenu has to serve a sentence of two years' rigorous imprisonment from 22-11-1974.
3. It is now contended by Mr. Sivasubramaniam, learned Counsel for the petitioner, that as the detenu was kept under naval custody from 10-5-1972 to 22-8-1972 and again from 7-11-1974 to 21-11-1974, this period, though it was before he was convicted on 21-11-1974, ought to have been given credit to. The period thus claimed is 3 months and 12 days between 10-5-1972 and 22-8-1972 and another 14 days between 7-11-1974 and 21-11-1974, making in all 3 months and 27 days. According to the learned Counsel, if the remission to which he is entitled on other grounds, such as undergoing vasectomy operation and donating blood, the total period would be 65 days and that he would have completed his term of imprisonment on 5-2-1976.
4. There is no material to come to the conclusion as to whether under the Navy Act and the Rules framed thereunder, the detenu is entitled to credit of any term of imprisonment for undergoing the vasectomy or for donating blood and that he has been refused such reduction. In this petition we are concerned only with the deduction claimed by the detenu for the period during which he was in custody before his conviction, and passing of sentence. The plea of the learned Counsel in short is that the provisions of Section 428 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (Act 2 of 1974), should be given effect to. Section 428 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides:
Where an accused person has, on conviction, been sentenced to imprisonment for a term, the period of detention, if any, undergone by him during the investigation, inquiry or trial of the same case and before the date of such conviction, shall be set off against the term of imprisonment imposed on him on such conviction....
There is no such provision in the Navy Act. Section 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code, says that the Code is not applicable where any special form of procedure is prescribed by any special or local law. The Naval Law is a special law wherein an elaborate procedure is prescribed for conducting a trial and for execution of sentences. In Chapter XIV of the Act, Section 151 provides:
Subject to the provisions of Sub-section (2), every term of imprisonment or detention awarded in pursuance of this Act shall be reckoned as commencing on the day on which the sentence was awarded.
Sub-section (2) is not applicable. Therefore, it is clear that the sentence will have to be reckoned as commencing on the day on which the sentence was awarded.
5. The Navy Act being a special enactment and the application of the Criminal Procedure Code has been excluded, the operation of Section 151 of the Navy Act is only applicable. This plea, therefore, that the period of detention undergone by the detenu before the sentence was passed on him should be given credit to, cannot be accepted. In this view, this petition is dismissed.