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Report No. 60

14.10. Illustrative case-law.-

Under the Opium Act, for example, possession of opium and transport of opium (contrary to the provisions of the Act or any other enactment relating to opium or contrary to rules framed under the Act), are two separate offences. Mere possession of opium may not, on the proved facts of a particular case, involve any question of transporting it. If these so, is only one offence. Similarly, the transport of opium may not include the element of possession in every case. A person may transport opium through various agencies, and yet not be in possession of it at the time it was transported. In such a case, there is only one offence.

But a person may transport opium, and also be in possession of it. In such a case, that person would be guilty of two offences,-transporting opium, and being in possession of it1. But justice requires that the punishment for the two offences should not exceed that prescribed for the higher of the two offences, because the offences are nearly the same, though not identical, and it would be oppressive if the aggregate punishment exceeds the maximum punishment for them.

1. See discussion in Puranmal v. State of Orissa, AIR 1958 SC 336.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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