Provisions Relating To Execution, Suspension, Remission And Commutation of Sentences

Chapter XXXII of the CrPC (Section 413 – 435) deals with the provisions of execution, suspension, remission and commutation of sentences. The Chapter is divided into five parts – where the first four parts are on the execution of sentence and its related provision and the last part is on the suspension, remission and commutation of sentences.

Execution of a sentence means the implementation of the sentence given to the accused. Section 368 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an order is passed, which would be executed by way of Section 413. Where a sentence of death penalty is passed by the Court of Sessions, it shall be confirmed by the High Court. Once it is confirmed by the High Court, the Court of Sessions shall execute such order under Section 413.

Similarly, when a High Court passes an order of death sentence by way of appeal or in a revision, the Court of Sessions shall execute it through Section 414 of the CrPC.

Section 415 of the CrPC provides for the postponement of the death in case the accused prefers an appeal in case of three situations:

(1) when the accused prefers an appeal under Article 134(1) (a) or (b) of the Indian Constitution;

(2) when the accused applies for the grant of the certificate under Article 132 or Article 134(1) of the Indian Constitution;

(3) When the High Court has passed a death sentence and the High Court has the satisfaction that the accused intends to apply for special leave of appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution.

In case of a pregnant woman who has been given death sentence, it will be postponed under Section 416. Section 417 of the CrPC deals with the power of the State Government to decide the place of the imprisonment. To execute the sentence, the Court who has passed the order of such sentence has to issue a warrant under Section 418 of the CrPC.

Section 421 to 424 deals with the execution of sentence which is limited to fine. Section 421 states that a fine can be levied in two ways:

First, by way of attachment or sale of the moveable or immoveable property.

Second, by authorizing the Collector to realize the arrears of land revenue from moveable or immoveable property.

Furthermore, according to Section 424 of the CrPC, the Court has the power to suspend the sentence of fine by

(a) passing an order to pay the order in two or more installments at the dates decided by the Court

(b) to release the offender through an execution of a bond, with or without sureties and the payment to be made in installments.

According to Section 426 of the CrPC, the warrant for the execution of the sentence shall be generally passed by the Judge or the Magistrate who passed the order of such sentence. In case a sentence is passed for an offender who is already sentenced for another offence, such sentence will commence when the previous sentence is expired, unless the Court directs that it will be run concurrently.

Further, according to Section 428, the amount of time spent by the accused in detention will be set off against the total amount of the sentence that he/she has to serve.

Section 432(1) of the CrPC gives power to the State Government to suspend or remit the sentence of any accused with or without the imposition of conditions. However, when such a sentence has been passed where the accused is above eighteen years of age; it is mandatory that while making such petition to the Appropriate Government the accused is in jail.

Section 433 of the CrPC deals with the power to commute the sentence. Simply put, commutation of a sentence is the substitution of one type of sentence for another, which generally is for a lighter type of sentence. There can be four types of commutation of sentences:

  1. A sentence for death for any other sentence under the IPC;
  2. A life imprisonment sentence for a sentence not exceeding fourteen years or fine;
  3. A rigorous imprisonment for a simple imprisonment or fine;
  4. A sentence of simple imprisonment for fine.

However, according to Section 433A, when an accused has been given life imprisonment where one of the punishments provided by the law is a death sentence or has been sentenced to death, such an offender shall not be released unless he/she has completed fourteen years of imprisonment.

This article has been written by Priyanshi Joshi, 5th Year, BA. LLB student at Institute of Law, Nirma University.

Also Read – What is Death Warrant? When It is Issued?

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