Execution, suspension, remission, and commuting of sentences are all covered in detail in a complete chapter of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. The Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 (CRPC) gives the government the authority to suspend, remit, or commute a sentence that has been imposed on him by any court for any offence. The appropriate government may do so with or without conditions and without the consent of the person sentenced, but the exercise of these powers is subject to certain restrictions under section 43A. Sections 432 and 433 of the law give the government the authority to exercise its authority over suspension, commutation, and remission.
Suspension refers to the temporary taking or withdrawal of the punishment. It is the sentence's brief postponement. Remission refers to shortening a sentence without altering its meaning. Commutation refers to the exchange of one type of punishment for a less severe one. Execution of sentences denotes that the court must take the required actions to ensure that any order is carried out, such as issuing a warrant or other legal documents.
Legal Provisions under section 432 of CrPC:
When someone is condemned to punishment for an offence, the competent government may, at any moment, postpone the execution of their sentence or commute all or part of their punishment without restrictions or with terms that the person receiving the sentence accepts.
When a request is made to the proper government for the suspension or remission of a sentence, the proper government may ask the presiding judge of the court before or by which the conviction was had or confirmed to express his opinion as to whether the request should be granted or refused, along with his reasons, and to send a certified copy of the trial record or of such record along with the statement of such opinion.
The person in whose favour the sentence has been suspended or remitted may then, if at large, be arrested by any police officer, without a warrant, and remanded to serve the remaining portion of the sentence, if the appropriate Government determines that any condition on which the suspension or remission of a sentence has been granted has not been satisfied.
A sentence may be suspended or commuted under this provision on the fulfilment of a condition that is independent of the person who is the beneficiary of the action.
The competent Government may issue general regulations or specific orders that specify how petitions should be prepared and handled as well as the conditions under which sentences may be suspended: With the caveat that no such petition by the person convicted or by any other person on his behalf shall be heard in the case of any sentence (other than a fine) passed on a man above the age of eighteen, unless the person condemned is in jail, and
- When a convicted person submits such a petition, it is sent via the jail's administrative officer; or
- When such a petition is submitted by another individual, it includes a statement that the person who was sentenced is currently incarcerated.
Any order issued by a Criminal Court according to any provision of this Code or of any other legislation that limits a person's freedom or imposes any liability on him or his property will also be subject to the provisions of the aforementioned sub-sections.
Analysis of Section 432:
Section 432, after thorough analysis, states that when someone has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the appropriate Government may, at any time, suspend the execution of that sentence or remit all or part of the punishment to which that person has been sentenced, without conditions or subject to conditions that the person sentenced accepts.
The presiding judge of the court before or by which the conviction was had or confirmed may be required, in response to an application made to the appropriate Government for the suspension or remission of a sentence, to state his opinion as to whether the application should be granted or refused, along with his reasons for such opinion, and to also forward with the statement of such opinion a certified copy of the trial record or such record thereof as exists.
The competent Government may revoke a sentence's suspension or remission if any of its conditions are not met, at which point any police officer may arrest the offender without a warrant and remand them to continue serving the remainder of their sentence. Without the defendant's permission, the competent government may exchange any of the following sentences with any other specified
- death being the only punishment under the Indian Penal Code, 1860;
- a sentence of life in prison, a period of imprisonment not to exceed 14 years, or a fine,
- strict incarceration, simple incarceration for any term to which that individual may have been sentenced, or a fine;
- a fine and a term of simple imprisonment.
What is sentence suspension or remission, and how is it granted:
The sentence's execution is put on hold or suspended during the suspension. While the essence of the penalty remains the same, the sentence's length is decreased in remission. Remission and suspension are very different from one another. Remission reduces the length of the sentence while maintaining its nature, meaning that the remainder need not be served. For instance, a person who was previously given a two-year sentence will now serve just one.
The result of the remission is that the convict is given a specific date by which he must be freed and would then be considered to be a free man in the eyes of the law. The remission will be invalidated if any of the terms are broken, and the offender will then be required to serve the remainder of his original sentence.
Suspension of Sentence:
The cancellation of the imposition of the sentence following a guilty plea or conviction for a specific and reasonable amount of time is referred to as suspension of the sentence. It temporarily or permanently puts off the court's decision or ruling. The distinction between reprieve and suspension of sentence is that the former postpones a sentence to a certain date while the latter does so indefinitely. Who has the authority to put the punishment on hold: The Government has the authority to commute or postpone a sentence under Section 432 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The appropriate government has legislative authority under this provision to suspend or commute the sentence in whole or in part when a person is sentenced to any type of punishment at any time, with or without any conditions.
A central or state government can be the proper government. The Central Government is the suitable Government if the order was passed giving the Union significant power; otherwise, the State Government takes over as the appropriate Government in other circumstances.
The accused must submit an application to the relevant government in order to employ their suspension power; the government cannot act suo motto in this regard. In deciding whether to accept or reject the application, the Government bases its decision on the court judge's justifications. The suspension of the punishment occurs if the criminal complies with the requirements.
Case Laws for Sentence Suspension:
Superintendent of Central Jail G.V. Ramanjah V:
According to the Supreme Court of India, currency notes and banknotes, which are the subject of offences under Sections 489 to 489-D of the Indian Penal Code, are matters that fall solely under the legislative purview of the Union Legislature in light of Entries 36 and 93 of the Union List in the seventh schedule of the Constitution. In light of offences covered by the sections, the Union Government is the proper government.