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Powers of the court regarding release of certain offenders on probation of good behavior under PROBATION OFFENDER ACT 1958

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Hate the crime not the criminal."

In most of the cases punishment, specially imprisonment, does not actually reform the criminal. This is true even more with young criminals, whose minds are not fully mature. They get influenced in the wrong way because of their interaction with hardened criminals in jails.

One way to counter this problem is to provide opportunities and guidance to young and first time offenders instead of committing them to jails.

If we want to reduce crime, we should make sure that chance criminals are given an opportunity to get reformed instead of turning into hardened criminals.

The Act allows the court to take into account the nature of the crime, the age of the offender, and the circumstances of the crime, and instead of committing the offender to jail, release him under supervision and guidance of a probation officer.

The object is that an accused person who is convicted of a crime should be given a chance of reformation which he would lose by being incarcerated by prison.

It aims to release first offenders, after due admonition or warning with advice who are alleged to have committed an offence punishable under Sections 379, 380, 381, 404 or Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code and also in case of any offence punishable with imprisonment for not more than two years, or with fine, or with both.

This Act empowers the Court to release certain offenders on probation of good conduct if the offence alleged to have been committed must not be punishable with death or life imprisonment. However, he should be kept under supervision.

The powers of the court regarding release of certain offenders on probation of good behavior under this act.

First a person convict for a sentence

The case be fixed for quantum of sentence. As this stage the court will think as to

Pass a sentence

Or admonish the convict

(Admonishing means to warn or reprimand)

Or release on probation

Probation

Meaning-a period of time when a criminal must behave well and not committee any more crime in order to avoid him sent to prison)

Depending on the circumstances of the case,

  • a court may release the person in two ways - release after admonishing the person, which is provided in Section 3, and
  • Release on probation of good conduct, which is provided in Section 4.

Release After Admonishing

The conditions required to be released under section Sec-3 are -

  • When any person found of any guilty of having committing an offence punishable u/s-379,or380,or 381,or 404 or 420 of Indian penal code. or
  • Any offence punishable for imprisonment for not more than 2-years or with fine or with both under IPC OR any other law.
  • No previous conviction is proved against him.

The court by which the person found guilty is opinion that having regard to the circumstances of the case including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, it is expedient so to do, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the court may, instead of sentencing him to any punishment or releasing him on probation of good conduct under section 4, release him after due admonition.

Release on Probation (sec-4)

  • When any person is found guilty of having committed an offence not punishable with death or imprisonment for life
  • The court by which the person is found guilty is of opinion that, having regard to the circumstances of the case including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, it is expedient to release him on probation of good conduct, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the court may, instead of sentencing him at once to any punishment, direct that he be released on his entering into a bond, with or without sureties,

Condition relates to

  • He shall be appeared and received sentence when called upon during such period, (not exceeding three years, as the court may direct)
  • And in the meantime to keep the peace and be of good behavior.

Other condition related to

  • Place of residence,
  • Abstention from intoxicants
  • Or any other matter as the court thinks appropriate to ensure that the crime is not repeated.

- The satisfaction of the court is necessary that the offender or his surety has a fixed place of abode or occupation.

- Shall take the report of the probation officer

- May in addition pass a supervision order under the probation officer for a period not less than 1year


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