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Report No. 60

14.15. A case of simultaneous prosecution.-

In Baliah v. Rangachari, AIR 1969 SC 701 (706), para. 6., the Supreme Court was concerned with simultaneous prosecution. The precise question was whether the appellant could be prosecuted both under section 177, Indian Penal Code (False information to public servant) and section 52 of the Income Tax Act,1 1922 (which was in force at the material time) at the same time. It was argued on behalf of the appellant that in view of the provisions of section 26 of the General Clauses Act, the appellant could be prosecuted either under section 52 of the 1922 Act, or under section 177, Indian Penal Code, but not under both the sections at the same time. The court was unable to accept this argument as correct. After quoting section 26, the Court observed:

"A plain reading of the section shows that there is no bar to the trial or conviction of the offender under both enactments, but there is only a bar to the punishment of the offender twice for the same offence. In other words, the section provides that where an act or omission constitutes an offence under two enactments, the offender may be prosecuted and punished under either or both the enactments but shall not be liable to be punished twice for the same offence. We accordingly reject the argument of the appellant on this aspect of the case."

1. Section 52, Income Tax Act, 1922-False verification in a statement of income.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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