Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh  Insc 969 (15 December 2006)
Sinha & Markandey Katju
out S.L.P. (Criminal) No.1405 of 2006] S.B. SINHA, J:
of the provision of Section 427 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for
short, 'the Code') falls for consideration in this appeal which arises out of a
judgment and order dated 17.10.2005 passed by a learned Single Judge of the
High Court of Andhra Pradesh in Criminal Petition No. 3917 of 2005.
was a bank employee. He worked as a Manager in Syndicate Bank at its Branch at Abid Road, Hyderabad. His job was to advance loans. Allegedly, in one case he
sanctioned a loan to a customer for Black & White Television, while the
scheme was for something else. In another case he sanctioned a loan for
obtaining plots from the Housing Society. The Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) had also filed chargesheets against the appellant in both the cases. Two
cases were, thus, came to be registered against him; one being Criminal Case
No. 9 of 1992 and another being Criminal Case No. 5 of 1993. The judgment in
the first case was pronounced by the Special Judge, C.B.I. Court on 04.07.1997
whereby and whereunder he was convicted for commission of offences punishable
under Sections 120B/420, 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with
Section 5(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. He was sentenced to
undergo 18 months' rigorous imprisonment. Different amounts of fines for
offences punishable under Sections 120B/420, 468, 471 IPC and Section 5(1) of
the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 were also imposed. By a judgment of
conviction and sentence dated 06.08.1997, the Special Judge, CBI, found him
guilty for commission of offences punishable under Sections 120B/420, 468, 471
read with Section 5(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 in Criminal
Case No. 5 of 1993 and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two
years. Different amounts of fines for offences punishable under the said
sections were also imposed against him.
preferred thereagainst before the High Court of Andhra Pradesh were registered
as Criminal Appeal No. 792 of 1997 and Criminal Appeal No. 894 of 1997
respectively. The appeals were dismissed by a judgments and orders dated
30.12.2004 and 20.01.2005 respectively.
Leave Petitions filed thereagaisnt have also been dismissed by this Court by an
order dated 11.05.2005. Appellant thereafter filed an application before the
High Court purported to be under Sections 482/427 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, praying, inter alia, therein that the sentences imposed upon him in
both the cases be directed to run concurrently. The said application has been
rejected by the High Court by reason of the impugned judgment.
Joshi, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, would, inter alia,
submit that having regard to the facts and circumstances of this case and
particularly in view of the fact that the nature of offence in both the cases
being the same, the High Court should have directed that sentences imposed upon
the appellant to run concurrently and not consecutively.
427 of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads as under :
Sentence on offender already sentenced for another offence.-
a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a
subsequent conviction to imprisonment or imprisonment for life, such
imprisonment or imprisonment for life shall commence at the expiration of the
imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced, unless the Court
directs that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with such previous sentence
that where a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment by an order under
Section 122 in default of furnishing security is, whilst undergoing such
sentence, sentenced to imprisonment for an offence committed prior to the
making of such order, the latter sentence shall commence immediately.
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." The learned Sessions Judge while passing the judgment and
conviction in Criminal Case No. 5 of 1993 took note of the fact that the
appellant had been convicted in Criminal Case No. 9 of 1992 also. He, however,
categorically opined that the accused did not deserve any sympathy. The
appellant was convicted under all the charges levelled against him and
sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for different periods. For
commission of the offences punishable under Section 420 IPC, he was sentenced
to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years.
sentences of imprisonment imposed upon him, however, were directed to run
according to the appellant, the High Court heard both the matters almost at the
same time, no such prayer appears to have been made, nor the same fell for
consideration by the High Court. The Special Leave Petitions filed by the
appellant, as noticed hereinbefore, have also been dismissed.
reliance has been placed by Mr. Joshi on a decision of this Court in Mohd. Akhtar
Hussain alias Ibrahim Ahmed Bhatti v. Assistant Collector of Customs (Prevention),
Ahmedabad and Another [(1988) 4 SCC 183]. Therein the court upheld a contention
that if a given transaction constitutes two offences under the enactments,
generally it would be wrong to impose consecutive sentences. It was, however,
opined that it would be proper and legitimate to have concurrent sentences; but
at the same time, it was held that the said rule would have no application if
the facts constituting the same offences are quite different. The said
decision, therefore, in view of the fact that the appellant has been convicted
in two distinct and different offences, runs counter to the submission of Mr.
has also been placed by Mr. Joshi in Ammavassi and Another v. Inspector of
Police, Valliyanur and Others [AIR 2000 SC 3544].
the appellants were convicted in four-five different cases, during a period of
three to four months. The appellants therein claimed benefit under Section 427
of the Code in order to avoid undergoing imprisonment of a total period of 28
or 35 years in jail. This Court opined that 14 years rigorous imprisonment
would meet the ends of justice. It is, therefore, clear that even in that case
whereas Section 427 of the Code was applied in three cases, but in two cases,
the sentences were directed to run consecutively.
said decisions, therefore, are not the authorities for the proposition that it
is incumbent upon the court to direct in a case of this nature that both the
sentences shall run concurrently and not consecutively.
in this case the provision of Section 427 of the Code was not invoked in the
original cases or in the appeals. A separate application was filed before the
High Court after the special leave petitions were dismissed. Such an
application, in our opinion, was not maintainable. The High Court could not
have exercised its inherent jurisdiction in a case of this nature as it had not
exercised such jurisdiction while passing the judgments in appeal. Section 482
of the Code was, therefore, not an appropriate remedy having regard to the fact
that neither the Trial Judge, nor the High Court while passing the judgments of
conviction and sentence indicated that the sentences passed against the
appellant in both the cases shall run concurrently or Section 427 would be
attracted. The said provision, therefore, could not be applied in a separate
and independent proceeding by the High Court. The appeal being devoid of any
merit is dismissed.