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Report No. 135

450G. Pregnant woman and suspension of imprisonment.- (1) When a pregnant woman is convicted of any offence and the court sentences her to imprisonment for life or for a specified term, the court may, if it thinks fit, at the time of passing such sentence, regard being had to the age, character or antecedents of the offender, the circumstances in which the offence was committed and the circumstances of the woman herself, direct-

(a) that execution of the sentence of imprisonment in her case shall be suspended till she is delivered of a child or the pregnancy is otherwise terminated and such period thereafter, as the court may specify, expires, and

(b) that, during such period of suspension of execution of sentence, she shall be released on her entering a bond with or without sureties-

(i) to appear and undergo sentence on the expiry of such period and,

(ii) in the meantime, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, and to observe such other conditions, if any, as the court may impose.

(2) An order under this section may be made by an appellate Court, or by the High Court or the Court of Session when exercising its power of revision.

(3) When an order has been made under this section in respect of any woman, the High Court of the Court of Sessions may, on appeal when there is a right of appeal to such Court, or when exercising its powers of revision, set aside or modify such order in the interest, of justice.

(4) The provisions of sections 121, 124 and 373 shall, so far as may be, apply in the case of sureties offered in pursuance of the provisions of this section.

(5) The Court, before directing the release of a woman under sub-section (1), shall be satisfied that the woman or her surety, if any, has a fixed place of abode or regular occupation in the place for which the Court acts, or in which the woman is likely to live during the period named for the observance of the conditions.

(6) If the Court which convicted the woman or a Court which could have dealt with the woman in respect of her original offence, is satisfied that the woman has failed to observe any of the conditions of her recognisance, it may issue a warrant for her apprehension, and after hearing the parties, revoke or set aside the order of suspension and direct that the sentence be executed forthwith for the period to which she has been sentenced.

(7) Where the period for which the execution of a sentence of imprisonment passed on a woman is suspended by the court under sub-section (1) expires,-

(a) the woman shall surrender herself to that court or to such ether court as may be directed by that court in its order;

(b) if she does not so surrender herself, she shall be arrested under a warrant to be issued by such court; end

(c) the court before which she surrenders herself, or the court before which she is produced on arrest under its warrant, as the case may be, shall direct the sentence to be executed for the period to which she has been sentenced.

(8) Where, in respect of any woman, execution of the sentence of imprisonment has been suspended under the provisions of this section, the period of suspension shall not be set off against the term of imprisonment imposed on her; and the liability of such woman to undergo imprisonment in accordance with the sentence, on the expiry of the period of suspension of sentence, shall remain unaffected by the suspension.

(See para. 2.24).

[Compare the decision in Champalal v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1982 SC 791: 1982 Cr LJ 612 (contrast section 428, Cr. P.C., 1973)].

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