If the convict dies, it does not discharge his liability to pay fine imposed by court, it can be recovered from his estate: Karnataka High Court
The Karnataka High Court under Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar in Thotlegowda v. State of Karnataka (Criminal petition No. 165 of 2012) has said that the death of the convict does not discharge his liability from paying fine and compensation imposed by court. It can be recovered from the property which goes to his legal heirs after his death and they are legally liable for the payment of the fine.
The accused has filed this appeal challenging the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 26.12.2011 passed in Spl.case No. 94/2008 by the Additional Sessions Judge and Special Judge, Hassan, whereunder the appellant accused has been convicted for the offence punishable under Section 135 and 138 of Indian Electricity Act, 2003 (for short hereinafter referred to as `the Act’) and sentenced to pay fine of Rs.24,204/- for the offence under Section 135 of the Act and sentenced to pay fine of Rs.5,000/- for the offence under Section 138 of the Act.
The court referred to Section 394 of Criminal procedure Code, which deals with abtement of appeals, said “An appeal from a sentence of fine will not abate on the death of the appellant.” It added, “In the present case appellant has been sentenced to pay fine only and therefore on the death of the appellant the appeal will not abate.” The legal heirs of the appellant are not interested in making any such application for a continuation of appeal, according to the representation made by the accused’s attorney, which the court noted.
The court said “The appellant died on 06.04.2019 and no such application is filed by his near relatives to continue the appeal. Learned counsel for the appellant submits that the legal heirs of the appellant are not interested in making any such application. Hence, the property of the appellant which goes to his legal heirs after his death is legally liable for payment of the fine amount. Hence, in view of the death of the appellant, the appeal is dismissed. The trial Court is directed to initiate proceedings to recover the fine amount imposed on the accused from his estate which is inherited by the legal heirs of the appellant on his death.”
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VAISHNAVI SINGH