In Iqram vs State of Uttar Pradesh and others the Supreme Court of India on Friday stated that it is bound to act in matters regarding personal liberty and grant relief.
There were Nine distinct First Information Reports (FIR) alleged against him. The appellant was charged with and put on trial for involving in the theft of electricity belonging to the Electricity Department of the State of Uttar Pradesh. Nine sessions trials were conducted by the Additional District and Sessions Judge where the number of accused varied but the appellant was a constant person in all the trials.
On 9th November 2020, the appellant was convicted of an offense under Section 136 of the Electricity Act by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Hapur. He was sentenced to two years of simple imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 1,000/- (Rupees One Thousand only) in each of the nine cases. However, the Sessions Judge directed that the period of custody due to under-trial shall be set off against the period of the sentence. As the conviction was of an offense under both Section 136 of the Electricity Act and Section 411 of the Indian Penal Code, the Judge directed the sentence to run concurrently.
The said appellant has been in jail for a tenure of three years and moved a writ petition of Habeas Corpus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India before the High Court of Allahabad. It was observed by the High Court that the sentences of the appellant were running consecutively than concurrently.
The Division Bench of the High Court had come to conclusion based on Section 427 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 that states:
- When a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment or imprisonment for life, such imprisonment or imprisonment for life shall commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced unless the Court directs that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with such previous sentence; Provided that where a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment by an order under section 122 in default of furnishing security is, whilst undergoing such sentence, sentenced to imprisonment for an offense committed prior to the making of such order, the latter sentence shall commence immediately.
- When a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment for a term or imprisonment for life, the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with the previous sentence.
In respect of the consequence, it emerged that the appellant would have to undergo 18 (eighteen) years of imprisonment under the nine sessions of trials for offenses under the Electricity Act.
The Supreme Court intervened and resumed the man as the Court had exercised its jurisdiction causing a miscarriage of justice towards the Appellant. The Court passed the judgment stating that the imprisonment shall run concurrently and the jail authorities were directed to act immediately.
Source: Bar and Bench