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Report No. 60

14.17. Conclusion and recommendation.-

In conclusion, we wish to add that we have given serious consideration to the problems posed by the present form and language of section 26, and have decided to recommend an amendment with a view to avoiding ambiguity or obscurity and making the position clear in respect of offences falling under the two situations to which we have referred. The amendment will, we hope, advance the cause of justice by ensuring that even if the case falls under the second situation, there will be a safeguard against oppression.

In the light of the above discussion, we recommend that section 26 should be revised as under:

Revised section 26

(1) Where an act or omission is made punishable under two or more enactments, the offender shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2),1 be liable to be punished under any one, but not under more than one, of those enactments.

(2) Where-

(a) an act or omission constitutes an offence under one enactment, and

(b) the same act or omission, in conjunction with any other ingredient or ingredients, constitutes an offence under any other enactment or enactments, then the offender may be prosecuted and punished for each of such offences, but the aggregate of the punishments shall not exceed the punishment which could have been awarded for the most serious of the offences.

1. In the alternative, the words "and the offences are not distinct" could be used in sub-section (1) instead of the words "subject to the provisions of sub-section (2)".

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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