Limit of Punishment of Offence made up of Several Offences – Section 71 of IPC – Explained!

January 23, 2019 0 Comment

Where anything is an offence falling within two or more separate definitions of any law in force for the time being by which offences are defined or punished, or

where several acts, of which one or more than one would by itself or themselves constitute an offence, constitute, when combined, a different offence, the offender shall not be punished with a more severe punishment than the Court which tries him could award for any one of such offences.

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(a) A gives Z fifty strokes with a stick. Here A may have committed the offence of voluntarily causing hurt to Z by the whole, beating, and also by each of the blows which make up the whole beating. If A were liable to punishment for every blow, he might be imprisoned for fifty years, one for each blow. But he is liable only to one punishment for the whole beating.

(b) But, if, while A is beating Z, Y interferes, and A intentionally strikes Y, here as the blow given to Y is no part of the act whereby A voluntarily causes hurt to Z, A is liable to one punishment for voluntarily causing hurt to Z, and to another for the blow given to Y.

Acts giving rise to an offence and also one in aggravated form:

Where an accused after committing lurking house trespass by right with intent to commit theft therein, also commits theft of property in the house, he can be. Charged with and convicted with a separate sentence both under Section 457 and also under Section 380 and the term of imprisonment may extend to the aggregate of two sentences. The reason is that in such a case the sentence imposed is not subject to the limit prescribed under the section.

Separate and distinct offence:

It is not illegal to award separate sentences for an offence under Section 167, Sea Customs Act, and one under

Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code for conspiracy to commit the said offence.

Offence of rioting under Section 148 and offence of causing injuries on individual persons under Section 324 are separate and distinct and do not constitute parts of one offence. Accordingly it was held that accused can be convicted separately for each one of the offences.

Sentence—general principles of:

The penal strategy must be guided by social circumstances, individual factors and character of the crime.


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