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Report No. 156

Part III

Proposed Clause (3) of Section 302 In I.P.C. Bill

3.11. We now turn to examine the sub-clause (3) of clause 125 of the Bill which provides:

"Where a person while undergoing sentence of imprisonment for life is sentenced to imprisonment for an offence under clause (e) of sub-section (2), such sentence shall run consecutively and not concurrently."

We wish to examine the aforesaid provisions of the Bill in the light of recent legislative and judicial policy.

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 if a person undergoing the sentence of transportation for life for another offence, the latter sentence was to commence at the expiration of the sentence of transportation to which he was previously sentenced, unless the court directed that the subsequential sentence of transportation was to run concurrently with the previous sentence of transportation.

3.12. It was in 1955 that section 307 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 was replaced by a new section 397 by Amendment Act 26 of 1955. Under the new sub-section (2) of section 397 which came into force on January 1, 1956 if a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life was sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment for life, the subsequent sentence had to run concurrently with the previous sentence. Section 427(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is to the same effect.

Further in Bhagirath v. Delhi Administrations, 1985 (2) SCC 580, (Constitution Bench), it was held:

"Graver the crime, longer the sentence, greater the need for set off and remissions. Punishments are no longer retributory. They are reformative."

We feel that clause (3) of section 302 of I.P.C. Bill providing for running of sentence of life imprisonment consecutively instead of concurrently, will be a retrograde step in accord with deterrent and retributive theories of the past as observed by the Supreme Court. In view of this, we do not approve the proposed clause (3) of section 302 in the Bill.

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