The Supreme Court has observed that the inherent power of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure does not enable the High Court to alter, add to, modify or vary any order that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.
In this case, the High Court had allowed the petition filed by the accused and had ordered that the sentences imposed in 69 Challan cases pertaining to FIR 21/1996 should run concurrently.
The accused in this case was convicted for embezzlement of the amount of a co-operative bank between the period from 1982 to 1994 while she was working as Junior Clerk. The sentence in each case (she was convicted in 69 cases) ranges from one year to two years. After the conviction was upheld in these cases by the Apex Court, in her petition filed under Section 482 CrPC, the High Court noted that the offence though challaned in 69 cases formed part of the same facts and cannot be looked in isolation. Therefore it allowed her plea for concurrent running of sentences.
In appeal by the State [State of Punjab vs. Ranjit Kaur], the bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah noted that Section 427 of the Code provides that when a person undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced, on a subsequent conviction, to imprisonment, such imprisonment is to commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he has previously been sentenced, unless the Court directs that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently. It also noted that such contention had not been raised by the accused in her appeals filed before the High Court or in the special leave petitions filed by her in the Supreme Court against the orders of her conviction and sentence in the 69 Challan cases.
Referring to the judgment in M.R. Kundva vs. State of A.P, the bench, while setting aside the High Court order, said:
"The inherent power of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under the Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, does not enable the High Court to alter, add to, modify or vary any order that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court."
Click here to Read/Download Order