3. CONCEPT OF PUNISHMENT
Punishment, according to the dictionary, involves
the infliction of pain or forfeiture, it is the infliction of
a penalty, the purpose of punishment is to cause
physical pain to the wrong-doer, it serves little
4. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Blackstone writes : “ wrongs are divisible into two
sorts, private wrongs and public wrongs. The former
are an infringement of the private or civil rights
belonging to individuals, considered as individuals,
and are thereupon frequently termed civil injuries; the
second are a breach and violation of public rights and
duties which affect the whole community considered
as a community and are distinguished by the harsher
appellation of crimes and misdemeanors.”
5. A crime is an act deemed by law to be harmful to
society in general.
Murder injures primarily the particular victim but its
disregard of human life does not allow the same to be a
matter between the murderer and the family of the
Those who commit such acts are proceeded against by
the State and they are punished if convicted.
6. PURPOSE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The main purpose of criminal justice is to punish the
wrongdoer. He is punished by the State. The
question arises, what is the purpose of punishment or
in other words, what is the end of criminal justice.
From very ancient times, a number of theories have
been given concerning the purpose of punishment.
Theory of Compensation
Based on the above view of theories is that the end
of criminal justice is to protect and add to the
welfare of the State and society.
The view of the other class of theories is that the
purpose of punishment is retribution.
The offender must be made to suffer for the wrong
committed by him.
8. THE DETELRRENT THEORY OF PUNISHMENT
Punishment is primarily deterrent when its object is
to show the ineffectiveness of crime, and thereby teach a
lesson to others. Deterrence acts on the motives of the
offenders, whether actual or possible. Offences are
committed, in most cases, as a result of a conflict between
the so called interests of the wrong-doer and those of
society at large.
The object of punishment, according to this theory, is to
show that, in the final analysis, crime is never profitable to
the offender, and as
9. THE PREVENTIVE THEORY OF PUNISHMENT
If the deterrent theory tries to put an end to the crime
by causing fear of the punishment in the mind of the
the preventive theory aims at preventing crime by
disabling the criminal, for example, by inflicting the
death penalty on the criminal, or by confining him in
prison, or by suspending his driving license, as the
case may be.
10. In the ultimate analysis, the preventive mode of punishment
works in three ways, viza)
a) by inspiring all prospective wrong-doers with the fear of
b) by disabling the wrong-doer from immediately committing
any crime; and
c) by transforming the offender, by a process of reformation
and reskilling, so that he would not commit crime again.
11. THE REFORMATIVE THEORY OF PUNISHMENT
According to the reformative theory, a crime is committed
as a result of the conflict between the character and the
motive of the criminal. One may commit a crime either
because the inducement of the motive is stronger or
because the restraint imposed by character is weaker.
This theory would consider punishment to be curative or to
perform the function of a medicine. According to this
theory, crime is like a disease.
This theory maintains that "you cannot cure by killing".
The exponents of the reformative theory believe that a
wrong-doers stay in prison should serve to re-educate him
and to re-shape his personality in a new mould.
12. Justice Krishna lyer opens his judgment in Rakesh
Kaushik Vs Superintendent, Central Jail (1980 Supp.
S.C.C. 183) with the following poignant question : "Is a
prison term in Tihar Jail a post-graduate course in
In Sunil Batra (II) V. Delhi Administration (1980 3
S.C.C. 488), The judgment deals at length with the
shocking conditions prevailing in Indian prisons and
suggests a series of prison reforms.
13. Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 has been passed to
reforms the JUVENILE OFFENDER.
About this Act, the Supreme Court observed in Rattan
Lal v. State of Punjab that the Act is a milestone in the
progress of the modern liberal trend of reform in the field
of penology. It is the result of the recognition of the
doctrine that the object of criminal law is more to reform
the individual offender than to punish him.
In Musa Khan v. State of Maharashtra,
The Supreme Court observed that this Act is a piece
of social legislation which is meant to reform juvenile
offenders with a view to prevent them from becoming
criminals by providing an educative and reformative
treatment to them by the Government.
14. THE RETRIBUTIVE THEORY OF PUNISHMENT
It was seen that punishment by the State is a substitute for
private revenge. In all healthy communities, any crime or
injustice disturbances up the retributive anger of the
people at large.
Retribution basically means that the wrongdoer pays for
his wrongdoing, since a person who is wronged would like
to revenge himself, the State considers it necessary to
inflict some pain or injury on the wrongdoer in order to
otherwise prevent private vengeance.
15. THE COMPENSATION THEORY OF
According to this theory, the object of punishment must not be
merely to prevent further crimes, but also to compensate the
victim of the crime. This theory further believes that the main-
spring of criminality is great and if the offender is made to return
the ill-gotten benefits of the crime, the spring of criminality would
be dried up.
Though there is considerable truth is this theory, it must be
pointed out that this theory tends to over-simply the motives of a
crime. The motive of a crime is not always economic.
Offences against the state, against justice, against-religion,
against marriage, and even against persons, may not always be
actuated by economic motives.
In such cases, the theory of compensation may be neither
workable nor effective.
16. PUNISHMENT SEC 53-75
Punishment.- The punishments to which offenders are
liable under the provisions of this Code are-
First.- Death; Sec 121, 132, 194, 302, 305, 396, 307
Secondly.- Imprisonment – a. Rigorous ( 194, 449, 168,
169, 172-174 175-176 & 187 178-180, 188 223, 225A
228, 291, 341, 500, 501, 502, 509, 510n& Simple ( Max
14yrs Minimum 24 hours Sec 510 397 398
Fifthly.- Forfeiture of property – 61&62 126,127 and 169
Sixthly.- Fine. 137, 154, 155, 171G-H-I 278, 283, 290,
17. 54. Commutation of sentence of death.- In every case
in which sentence of death shall have been passed, may,
without the consent of the offender, commute the
punishment for any other punishment provided by this
55. Commutation of sentence of imprisonment for
life.- In every case in which sentence of imprisonment for
life shall have been passed may, without the consent of
the offender, commute the punishment for imprisonment
of either description for a term not exceeding fourteen
18. KINDS OF PUNISHMENT29
The following kinds of punishment are discussed
1. Capital punishment
2. Corporal punishment
4. Solitary confinement
5. Indeterminate sentence
19. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
In the history of punishments, capital punishment has always
occupied a very important place. In ancient times, and even in
the middle ages, sentencing offenders to death was a very
common kind of punishment.
Even what might be considered as minor offences in modern
criminal law, attracted the death penalty in those days.
In England, there was a time when there were as many as 200
felonies for which the punishment was death. Even the offence
of theft of property would attract the penalty of death.
Till the middle of the seventeenth century in England, even the
penalty for the offence of forgery was death.
Then there arose a movement in the 18th century, which
raised its voice of protest against the in human of punishment.
20. CASE ANALYSIS
There have been many arguments for and against
this kind of punishment.
State of U.P. V. M.K. Anthony, A.I.R. 1985 S.C. 48
In a case before the Supreme Court, them accused
killed his bedridden wife, as he could not provide
the money for her operation. He also killed his two
children, as there would be no one to care for them
after the mother. However, the crime was
committed out of poverty, and not for just,
vengeance or gain.
In the circumstances, the Supreme Court held that
life imprisonment, and not capita punishment, was
the appropriate sentence
21. IN BACHAN SINGH V. STATE OF PUNJAB (1980 2 S.C.C.
The Supreme Court was faced with the question whether the
death penalty impossible for some offences under the Indian Penal
Code is constitutionally valid the Supreme Court ruled that the death
penalty is constitutionally valid, and does not constitute an
"unreasonable, cruel or unusual punishment."
The majority pointed out that the death penalty is to be imposed only
for "special reasons" and only in the rarest of rare cases. However,
such provisions cannot be said to be violative of Articles 14, 19 and 21
of the Constitution.
It was also observed that the fact that India had accepted the
International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights does not affect the
constitutional validity of the death sentence. The voice of disagreement
came from justice Bhagwati, who delivered a separate decision to the
effect that section 302 of the Code is void, in so far as it provides for
imposition of a death penalty (for murder) as an alternative to life
22. VASANT PAWAR V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
(1980 SUPP. S.C.C. 194)
The Supreme Court has taken a stern view of recent
"dowry deaths" and "wife-burning tragedies", and has
refused to commute sentences imposed on such
"murders" by lower Courts.
A reference may be made to yet another decision of
the Supreme Court in a wife-burning tragedy which
took place in Delhi (State V. Laxman Kumar &
23. Corporal punishment includes modulation, flogging (or
beating) and torture. This was a very common kind of
punishment in the ancient and the medieval times. In
ancient Iran and ancient India, and even in times of the
Mughal Rulers and the Marathas, whipping was commonly
resorted to. Elsewhere also, right up to the Middle Ages,
beating was one of the commonest form of punishment.
The main object f this kind of punishment is deterrence. It
has been long ago realized that this kind of punishment is
not only inhuman, but also ineffective.
Imprisonment, if properly used, may serve all the
three important objects of the punishment. It may
be a deterrent, because it makes an example of the
offender to others.
It may be preventive, because it disables the
offender, at least for some time, from repeating the
offence, and it might, if properly used, give
opportunities for reforming the character of the
25. SOLITAY CONFINEMENT
Solitary confinement is an aggravated kind of
imprisonment. This kind of punishment exploits fully the
sociable nature of man, and by denying him the society
of his fellow beings, it seeks to inflict pain on him.
Ss. 73 and 74 of the I.P.C. lay down the limits beyond
which solitary confinement cannot be imposed under the
Indian law. Thus, the total period of solitary confinement
cannot exceed three months in any case; nor can it
exceed fourteen days at a time, with intervals of
fourteen days in between (or seven days at a time with
seven days intervals in between, in case the substantive
sentence exceeds three months' imprisonment
26. SEC 73 & 74
73. Solitary confinement.- Whenever any person is convicted
of an offence for which under this Code the Court has power to
sentence him to rigorous imprisonment, the Court may, by its
sentence, order that the offender shall be dept. in solitary
confinement of any portion or portions of the imprisonment to
which he is sentenced, not exceeding three months in the
while, according to the following scale, that is to say
a time not exceeding one month if the term of imprisonment shall not
exceed six months;
a time not exceeding two months if the term of imprisonment shall
exceed six month s and 1[shall not exceed one] year.
A time not exceeding three months if the term of imprisonment shall
exceed one year.
27. Sec 74 Limit of solitary confinement.-
In executing a sentence of solitary
confinement, such confinement shall in no case
exceed fourteen days at a tune, with intervals
between the periods of solitary confinement of nit less
duration then such confinement shall not exceed
seven days in any one month of the while
imprisonment awarded, with intervals between the
periods of solitary confinement of not less duration
than such periods.
28. FINE – SEC 137, 154,155, 156, 171G, H, I 278, 283, 290, 294A
Some criminologists are of the opinion that the
punishment of fine, in addition to serving its deterrent
object, also serves three more purposes.
Firstly, it may help to support the prisoners;
Secondly, it might provide expenses for the prosecution of
Thirdly, it may be used for compensating the aggrieved
29. 64. Sentence of imprisonment for non-payment of fine.-
In every case, of an offence punishable with imprisonment
as well as fine, in which the offender is sentenced to a fine,
whether with or without
imprisonment, and in every case of an offence punishable
with fine only , in which the offender is sentenced to a fine,
30. 65. Limit to imprisonment for non-payment of
fine.- The term for which the court directs the
offender to be imprisoned in default of payment of a
fine shall not exceed one-fourth of the term of
imprisonment which is the maximum fixed for the
offence, if the offence be punishable with
imprisonment as well as fine.
66. Description of imprisonment for non-
payment of fine.- The imprisonment which the
Court imposes in default of payment of a fine may
be of any description to which the offender might
have been sentenced for the offence.
31. 67. Imprisonment for non-payment of fine, when
offence punishable with fine only.- for any term not
exceeding two months when the amount of the shall not
exceed fifty rupees,
for any term not exceeding four months when the amount
shall not exceed one hundred rupees,
for any term not exceeding four months when the amount
shall not exceed one hundred rupees, and for any term not
exceeding six month in any other case.
32. 69. Termination of imprisonment on payment of
proportionate part of fine- If before the expiration of the
term of imprisonment fixed in default of payment, such a
proportion of the fine be paid or levied that the term of
imprisonment suffered in default of a payment is not less
than proportional to the part of the fine still unpaid, the
imprisonment shall terminate.
33. INDETERMINATE SENTENCE
Another kind of imprisonment, which may serve the
reformative purpose to a greater extent, and which
is to-day extensively used in the United States, is
the method of awarding an indeterminate sentence.
In this case, the accused is not sentenced to
imprisonment for any fixed period. The period is left
in determinate at the time of the award, and when
the accused shows improvement, the sentence
may be terminated.