The Rajasthan High Court observed that Section 427 Code of Criminal Procedure does not permit concurrent running of substantive sentences with default sentences for non-payment of fines/compensation.

The Court was hearing a Criminal Misc. Petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. with a prayer that the sentences awarded to the petitioner in three cases may be ordered to run concurrently.

The bench of Justice Anil Kuamr Upman observed, “…provisions of Section 427 Cr.P.C. do not permit a direction for concurrent running of substantive sentences with the sentences awarded in default of payment of fine/compensation.”

Advocate Sandeep Sharma appeared for the Appellant and PP Sandeep Sheoran appeared for the Respondent.

In the present case, appellant Bhoor Singh Kharwal was convicted under Section 138 Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 for three different incidents and therefore awarded multiple sentences.

The Court observed, “As per Section 427 Code of Criminal Procedure, in normal course a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment, if sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment, such imprisonment commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced, but the court in its discretion based on settled principles may direct that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with previous sentence. While exercising such discretion, the trial court, appellate court or revisional court, as the case may be, keep in mind several factors.”

The Court noted that in the instant case, the trial Courts did not exercise its discretion with respect to concurrency of sentences.

The Court after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the period of detention that he has undergone observed that it would not be inconsistent in the administration of justice, if the petitioner is allowed the benefit of discretion contained in Section 427 Cr.P.C.

The Court further observed that the sentences, which the petitioner has been directed to undergo in default of payment of fine/compensation shall not be affected and if the petitioner has not paid the fine/compensation as directed by the trial court, the said sentence would run consecutively.

Finally, the Court allowed the Criminal Misc. Petition and directed that the sentence passed in the criminal cases would run concurrently.

Cause Title: Bhoor Singh Kharwal v. State of Rajasthan (Neutral Citation: 2024:RJ-JP:15404)

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