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Question of Law: Whether re-open or alter power available under section 482 Cr.P.C & Probation o

STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH vs MAN SINGH – CRL APL NO. 410 OF 2011 – 04.11.2019 – Justice Deepak GuptaJ & Justice Aniruddha Bose J.

Whether a Judge of the High Court can exercise powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short ‘CrPC’) to alter the sentence which has been passed by the High Court itself is the issue involved in this appeal?

After framing the above said question of law Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as follows:

There is no power of review granted to the Courts under CrPC. As soon as the High Court had disposed of the original revision petition, upheld the conviction, reduced the sentence to the period already undergone and enhanced the fine, it became functus officio and, as such, it could not have entertained the petition under Section 482 CrPC for altering the sentence.

It is well settled law that the High Court has no jurisdiction to review its order either under Section 362 or under Section 482 of CrPC. The inherent power under Section 482 CrPC cannot be used by the High Court to reopen or alter an order disposing of a petition decided on merits. After disposing of a case on merits, the Court becomes functus officio and Section 362 CrPC expressly bars review and specifically provides that no Court after it has signed its judgment shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error. Recall of judgment would amount to alteration or review of judgment which is not permissible under Section 362 CrPC. It cannot be validated by the High Court invoking its inherent powers.

Probation of Offenders Act – Reasons to be stated if High Court differs from Trial Court’s version:

We have, therefore, no doubt in our mind that the High Court had no power to entertain the petition under Section 482 CrPC and alter the sentence imposed by it. We may also add that the manner in which the probation has been granted is not at all legal. The trial court had given reasons for not giving benefit of probation. When the High Court was deciding the revision petition against the order of conviction, it could have, after calling for a report of the Probation Officer in terms of Section 4 of the Act, granted probation. Even in such a case it had to give reasons why it disagreed with the trial court   and the first appellate court on the issue of sentence. The High Court, in fact, reduced the sentence to the period already undergone meaning thereby that the conviction was upheld and sentence was imposed. After sentence had been imposed and served and fine paid, there was no question of granting probation.

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