Supreme Court: No Hard And Fast Rule That Convict Must Undergo Particular Period Of Sentence Before Seeking Its Suspension


The Supreme Court in the case Vishnubhai Ganpatbhai Patel and another v. State of Gujarat observed and has stated that there is no hard and fast rule that a convict should serve sentence for a particular period before the application to suspend the sentence can be considered.

The bench comprising of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal in the case was considering the special leave petition filed against on order of the Gujarat High Court, wherein the court refused to suspend the sentence.

The court in the case observed that the High Court had counted only the post-conviction jail time of two convicts as the period of sentence undergone by them while considering their plea to suspend their imprisonment sentence.

The Supreme Court observed while terminating the High Court’s approach as incorrect that the submissions made on behalf of the State that sentence undergone only post-conviction should be considered. Thus, the High Court has accepted the said submission and apart from the fact that the said approach is incorrect, this court may note here that there is no such hard and fast rule which requires an accused to undergo sentence for the particular period before his prayer for suspension of sentence is considered.

In the present case, the appellants, who were convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, had undergone four years sentence and the maximum substantive sentence is rigorous imprisonment for 10 years.

Therefore, the appeal is of the year 2023 which is unlikely to be heard before the entire period of sentence of the appellants is being over. The Supreme Court in the case observed and has opined that the High Court ought to have favorably considered the application of convicts, since they had no antecedents and had undergone incarceration of more than 40 percent of the maximum sentence for their offence.

The court while considering the facts and circumstances of the case observed and has directed the accused to be produced before the trial court within a week to be enlarged on bail. Accordingly, the court allowed the appeal.