Punishments – Section 53 of IPC – Explained!

January 24, 2019 0 Comment


Secondly—Imprisonment for life;

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Fourthly—Imprisonment, which is of two descriptions, namely: —

(1) Rigorous, that is, with hard labour;

(2) Simple.

Fifthly—Forfeiture of property;


Principle and Scope of Section 53 of IPC:

Whenever a conviction is entered in a criminal trial, a sentence must follow as a matter of law [Sec. 354(l)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code]. In other words when the court finds an accused guilty, it is the bounden duty of the court to pass an appropriate sentence.

Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system to undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law, and society cannot long endure under serious threats. It is the duty of every court to award proper sentence having regard to the nature of the offence and the manner in which it was executed or committed.

The measure of punishment in a given case must depend upon the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal and the defenceless and unprotected state of the victim. Imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the court responds to the society’s cry for justice against criminals.

Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime. The courts must not only keep in view the rights of the criminal but also the rights of the victim of the crime and the society at large while considering imposition of appropriate punishment.

Section 53-A. Construction of Reference to Transportation:

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub- section (2) and sub-section (3), any reference to “transportation for life” in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument or order having effect by virtue of any such law or of any enactment repealed shall be construed as a reference to ‘imprisonment for life’.

(2) In every case in which a sentence of transportation for a term has been passed before the commencement of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1955 (26 of 1955), the offender shall be dealt with in the same manner as if sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for the same term.

(3) Any reference to transportation for a term or to transportation for any shorter term (by whatever name called) in any other law for the time being in force shall be deemed to have been omitted.

(4) Any reference to “transportation” in any other law for the time being in force shall,—

(a) If the expression means transportation for life, be construed as a reference to imprisonment for life;

(b) If the expression means transportation for any shorter term, be deemed to have been omitted.


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