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Suspension Of Sentence

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Suspension Of Sentence

A layman does not understand the difference between an application for Bail and Suspension of Sentence. Primarily, Bail application is presented by an accused during the course of the investigation/ trial. Upon completion of the trial, the accused is either convicted or acquitted. If convicted, his status becomes that of a convict and may prefer an appeal. The convict then becomes eligible to prefer an application for Suspension of Sentence.

Thus, at the stage of appeal, the bail takes the form of Suspension of Sentence.

The purpose of the relief provided to the convicted person in form of Suspension of Sentence is to ensure that the brunt of inordinate delay and the high price of suffering in jail is not faced while the appeal is pending for years together.

What Is The Legal Provision For Suspension Of Sentence?

Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 sets down the provision of the release of the convicted on bail during the pendency of the appeal preferred. The law states that during the pendency of the appeal, the Appellate Court has the power to suspend the execution of sentence and if the convict is in confinement and if deemed fit, may release him. Such power has also been conferred to the High Court. The convict can then be released on bail or on his own bond.

The Convict may apply for the suspension to the Court which convicted him if the below-mentioned conditions are met. The Court can then suspend the sentence for the convict to prefer an appeal and obtain the required order of Suspension of Sentence from the Appellate Court.

  • The imprisonment is for a term less than 3 (three) years or
  • The offence for which convicted is a bailable offence and during the trial, the convict was on bail.

India Court's approach while deciding the application for Suspension of Sentence

The Courts have repeatedly stressed that the application for Suspension of Sentence is an integral part of the appeal against conviction. The Court is not required to look into the merits of the case while deciding the application for Suspension of Sentence.

  • When an application for Suspension of Sentence is allowed, the conviction and all its consequences except the imprisonment remains in place. Hence, the disqualification imposed due to the conviction continues to remain in operation. There are no provisions under any law for the suspension of the conviction pending the appeal.
  • The High Court under the Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code has the power to call off the order of Suspension of Sentence ordering the re-arrest of the convict.
  • Solely for the reason that an appeal has been preferred, the sentence awarded cannot be suspended by the Appellate Court. It is observed that such power is exercised by the Courts in exceptional cases.
  • The Court looks into all aspects including the consequences of setting the convicted free in the society before deciding on the application for Suspension of Sentence.
  • The Courts are expected to strike a judicial balance between the harshness and the leniency if the sentence awarded while considering the gravity and seriousness of the offence, convict’s subsequent attitude towards the case, the degree of participation in the offence etc.

Procedure to apply for Suspension of Sentence

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  • Approach us with the details of the case.
  • A Case Manager shall be assigned to you who shall provide you with the best legal advice and shall remain your Point of Contact during the proceedings.
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  • At every stage of proceedings, till its finality, you shall be notified of the updates of the case.
  • We shall keep track of the lawyer assigned to you so that you face no troubles.

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