The Karnataka High Court has passed a judgement on 24th February 2023 stating that if a term of life imprisonment is ordered to on an accused and another term sentence is also imposed for another charge, then both sentences will run concurrently and not consecutively. This was in the case of Ramachandra Reddy V. ANR And State of Karnataka(CRIMINAL PETITION No.3359 OF 2022 C/W CRIMINAL PETITION No.2096 OF 2021). This case was presided over by JUSTICE M NAGAPRASANNA.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The petitioners in these petitions are before this Court seeking a prayer that the order of conviction dated 25.11.2010, passed in S.C.No.2/2007, by the District and Sessions Judge, Chikkaballapura, for different offences to run concurrently. The Sessions Court ordered the convicts/the petitioners herein and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment and pay fine of Rs.50,000/- for offence punishable under Section 302 of the IPC and in default of payment of fine, they shall undergo further rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months. They were also convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years and payment of Rs.50,000/- each and in default to pay fine, to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months for the offence punishable under Section 394 of the IPC. The petitioners are contending that they have been in prison for twenty years as of now and are demanding an early release and that the sentences should run concurrently.
The Bench observed that “For offence punishable under Section 394 of the IPC, they are required to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 27 years. There is no indication in the order whether the sentences would run concurrently or one after the other. Therefore, the issue with regard to such finding is left unattended by the concerned Court.The maximum punishment that is imposed initially against the petitioners is imprisonment for life for offence punishable under Section 302 of the IPC and later imprisonment for 10 years under Section 394 of the IPC. On the bedrock of the principles laid down by the judgment of the Apex Court that if life imprisonment is the punishment that is imposed, the term sentence will have to run concurrently and in the light of the issue being covered by the judgments quoted (supra), I deem it appropriate direct that the sentence imposed upon the petitioners by the impugned order of conviction dated 25.11.2010 in S.C.No.02 of 2007 passed by District and Sessions Judge, Chikkaballapura would run concurrently.”
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY PRATIKSHYA P. BEURA