Adv Archana Deshmukh (Practicing Advocate) 13 May 2013
The Indian Penal Code specifies two types of imprisonment: simple imprisonment and rigorous imprisonment. The court can award either of it. Under simple imprisonment, a convict can remain virtually idle in the prison, but has to work compulsorily if the court awards rigorous imprisonment.
You have wrongly written 'Imprisonment of either descripttion'.Perhaps you wanted to say 'Punishment of either descripttion'.
Punishment of either descripttion means-
If any offence under the code is punishable with either fine or imprisonment or both,as the case may be,the court may award any or both of such punishment.
If not above,Advocate Archana is right in her reply.
Note-This reply should be taken as per the declaration given in my profile page.
VIJAY 06 October 2016
The question asked by Advocate Shri Cherukuri Prasad is absolutely right. If you go through the different Sections of IPC you will find the words in same order i.e; "IMPRISONMENT OF EITHER DESCRIPTION.". The answer given by Adv Ms Archana is not to the point. The intention of Shri Prasad is somewhat different.
Examples: 363 IPC - .... Shall be punished with imprisonment of either desription for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine." - Here, Quantum/period of imprisonment is not definite/fixed but its extent is fixed/limted by seven years. It can not be more than seven years. In addition to the imprisonment, whatsover the length is, the convicted has to bear monetary fine (which is also not defined/definite/fixed).
Note: The term of imprisonment as well as the quantum of monetary fine is left with the discretion/wisdom of the judge deciding the case.
363-A IPC - ...... punishable with imprisonment of either desription for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine." Similarly, here also, period/length of imprisonment (but extent limted to seven years) and quantum of monetary fine is not fixed but, left with the discretion/ wisdom of the judge deciding the case. Monetary fine is in addition to the imprisonment.
357 IPC - .... with imprisonment of either desription for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both." Similarly, here also, period/length of imprisonment (but extent limted to one year) and quantum of monetary fine (But maximum fine can not be more than one thousand rupees) is not fixed but, left with the discretion/ wisdom of the judge deciding the case. Here, monetary fund is not in addition to the imprisonment but it is left with the discretion/wisdom of the judge wether the offender should be penalised with any one of them i.e; either with imprisonment only or with fine only or with both.
Note: where the law is definite/clear by its wordings there is no ambiguity. We should see the importance of "shall", "may" and "or". Shall = definite/defined; May = not definite/not defined . May and Or = depends upon the discretion/wisdom of the judge deciding the case.
I think this article will be helpful for understanding the question asked by Shri Prasad and, will clear the doubts.
Palak Singh 01 April 2020
The Indian Penal Code provides for imprisonment of two kinds, viz., simple and rigorous, and the Court must choose one or the other form in view of all the circumstances, hence the “imprisonment of either descripttion”.
Simple imprisonment will include simple works in the prison, whereas, a person facing rigorous imprisonment has to peform hard labour during his/her term.
In certain offences where both simple & rigorous imprisonment can be awarded, the court can decide which one has to be given as section 60 of IPC provides Sentence may be (in certain cases of imprisonment) wholly or partly rigorous or simple.
Now in every case in which an offender is punishable with imprisonment which may be of "either descripttion", it is to be decided by the court of law which sentence shall the offender be directed to, that is, if such imprisonment shall be wholly rigorous, or that such imprisonment shall be wholly simple, or that any part of such imprisonment shall be rigorous and the rest simple.
Sandeep Pamarati (Law Student) 18 March 2021
While imposing punishment under IPC, why there is a construct like this. Imprisonment for a term XXX years, or with fine, or with both.
How can an offence punishable with an imprisonment (even if simple imprisonment) be comparable/replaceable/alternative to imposing of fine?
In my opinion, all IPC and other penal provisions in any law must be in this construct like this. Imprisonment for a term XXX years, or Imprisonment for a term XXX years with fine.
Requesting the learned members their opinion on this.