Singh Vs. State of Punjab  INSC 2 (4 January 2010)
APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 8-9 OF 2010 (Arising out of
SLP(Crl.) Nos.6599-6600/2009) RANJIT SINGH Appellant(s) :VERSUS:
PUNJAB Respondent(s) O R D E R Leave granted.
learned counsel for the parties.
appellant was sentenced to imprisonment for life under Section 302 of the
Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.), 10 years' rigorous imprisonment under Section 307 I.P.C.
years' rigorous imprisonment under Section 333 I.P.C. While sentencing the
appellant, the Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, did not grant him benefit
of set off under Section 428 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, on the basis of
the judgment of this Court in Kartar Singh vs. State of Haryana, [AIR 1982 SC
1439 = 1982 (3) SCC 1].
Constitution Bench of this Court in the case of Bhagirath vs. Delhi
Administration, [1985 (2) SCC 580], has specifically overruled Kartar Singh's
judgment (supra), the relevant paragraph of which reads as under:
have considered with great care the reasoning upon which the decision in Kartar
Singh (1982 3 SCC 1) proceeds. With respect, we are unable to agree with the
decision. We have already discussed why imprisonment for life is imprisonment
for a term, within the meaning of section 428. We would like to add that we
find it difficult to agree that the expressions 'imprisonment for life' and
'imprisonment for a term' are used either in the Penal Code or in the Criminal
Procedure Code in contradistinction with each other.
304, 305, 307 and 394 of the Penal Code undoutedly provide that persons guilty
of the respective offences, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or
with imprisonment for a term not exceeding a certain number of years. But, that
is the only manner in which the Legislature could have expressed its intention
that persons who are guilty of those offences shall be punished with either of
the sentences mentioned in the respective sections. The circumstances on which
the learned Judges have placed reliance in Kartar Singh, do not afford any
evidence, intrinsic or otherwise, of the use of the two expressions in
contradistinction with each other. Two or more expressions are often used in
the same section in order to exhaust the alternatives which are available to
the Legislature. That does not mean that there is, necessarily, an antithesis
between those expressions."
our considered view, the appellant is entitled to the benefit of set off under
Section 428 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
appeals are partly allowed and disposed of in the above terms.
.....................J (DALVEER BHANDARI)
.....................J (A.K. PATNAIK)
January 4, 2010.