whether the case of the appellant is a fit case for exercising the discretion in directing the sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently with the sentence of imprisonment imposed in the earlier case ? Since the appellant was already undergoing imprisonment in FIR No.64/2011, in terms of Section 427 Crl.P.C., subsequent sentences shall run consecutively until and unless the court specifically directs that they shall run concurrently. The appellant has already undergone 10 years of imprisonment for conviction in FIR No.64/2011. The appellant is currently undergoing imprisonment for conviction in FIR No.67/2011 out of which he has already undergone 01 year 06 months and 16 days as of 29.01.2020 . If the appellant is to undergo the sentences consecutively, the appellant has to undergo another about five years plus four years of imprisonment for the conviction in FIR No.263/2009. Pursuant to the order dated 13.12.2019, the Probation Officer, Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi had sent the report dated 10.01.2020 stating the family background and also that there is ample scope of improvement in the behaviour of the appellant and that he may be given a chance for reformation and reintegration with the family and the society. As per the report filed by the Probation officer dated 10.01.2020, on visiting the residential address of the appellant, it was found that his family is very poor and residing in a 50 yard house for the last 20 years. The father of the appellant is 11 58 years old, having ill health and the only bread winner in the family, was working as carpenter. The mother of the appellant was suffering from cancer and was not able to take treatment due to the poor economic condition. The father of the appellant submitted that the appellant was helping in his work before conviction. The elder sister of the appellant is married, but since the last one and a half year, she has been living in her maternal house due to domestic violence in her in-laws’ house. On enquiring from neighbours, they reported in favour of the appellant and his family. The family of the appellant expressed positive attitude to be reunited with the appellant and desired to live a normal social life. The appellant has full acceptance of his family and the appellant has also shown keen interest and willingness to re-unite with them. Considering the report of the Probation Officer, illness of the mother of the appellant, his family background, facts and circumstances of the case and in the interest of justice, in our view, this is a fit case for exercising discretion in directing the sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently. Since the appellant has a poor economic background, fine amount of Rs.10,000/- imposed on him each in FIR No.67/2011 and FIR No.263/2009 are set aside and therefore, the appellant need not to undergo default sentence of 12 imprisonment. This order to run the sentence of imprisonment concurrently has been made in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and the illness of the appellant’s mother and hence, the same may not be quoted as precedent in other cases

NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 208 OF 2020
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.4201 of 2019)
VICKY @ VIKAS …Appellant
VERSUS
STATE (GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI) …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
R. BANUMATHI, J.
Leave granted.

  1. This appeal has been filed by the appellant against the
    impugned judgment dated 20.05.2016 passed by the High Court of
    Judicature at Delhi in Criminal Appeal No.1496 of 2013, whereby
    while dismissing the appeal filed by the appellant, the High Court also
    dismissed his application to direct sentences awarded to him to run
    concurrently.
  2. Case of the prosecution in brief is that on 28.04.2011, at about
    10:25 PM, the appellant along with co-accused Yamin @ Sohail
    committed robbery upon the complainant Israr and took away
    Rs.2700/- and the complainant’s mobile phone by inflicting injuries on
    him with a knife. FIR No.67/2011 was registered against the accused
    1
    for the occurrence on 28.04.2011 at 10.25 PM. After completion of
    investigation, charge-sheet was filed against the accused. In the trial,
    charges were framed against the appellant and the co-accused under
    Sections 392, 394, 397 IPC read with Section 34 IPC. The appellant
    pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
  3. Based on the evidence adduced by the prosecution, the trial
    court convicted the appellant under Sections 392 and 394 IPC while
    acquitting him of the charge under Section 397 IPC. The trial court
    sentenced the appellant to rigorous imprisonment for a period of
    seven years and a fine of Rs.10,000/- with default sentence of one
    month in case of non-payment of fine and clarified that this sentence
    will run consecutively to the sentence imposed on the appellant in FIR
    No.64/2011 under Sections 392, 397, 411 IPC read with Section 34
    IPC.
  4. In appeal, vide the impugned judgment, the High Court opined
    that the conviction recorded by the trial court is based upon fair
    appraisal of evidence and warrants no interference. As to the prayer
    of the appellant directing sentences to run concurrently, the High
    Court observed that the appellant is involved in sixteen criminal
    cases, he is a habitual hard core criminal and in the instant case, not
    only was the victim robbed of valuable articles but also inflicted with
    2
    grievous injuries on his body. The High Court thus rejected the prayer
    that both the sentences in FIR No.64/2011 and FIR No.67/2011 to run
    concurrently.
  5. By order dated 26.04.2019, we had already held that we are not
    inclined to interfere with the verdict of conviction of the appellant and
    also the quantum of sentence imposed upon him. The instant appeal
    is confined to the appellant’s prayer seeking concurrent running of
    sentences imposed upon him.
  6. The appellant faced trial in various cases and has been
    convicted in number of cases. Mr. Anish Kumar Gupta, learned
    counsel appearing for the appellant-accused has collected the details
    from the Assistant Superintendent, Central Jail-13, Mandoli. By order
    dated 13.12.2019, we have called for details of the cases pertaining
    to the appellant from the Director General (Prison). Accordingly, the
    Superintendent, Central Jail No.13 has sent the status report
    containing the details of the cases in which the appellant is convicted
    and the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon him and the period
    of sentence undergone by him.
    3
    Case No. Details of Court
    Date of
    Conviction
    Conviction and
    Sentence
    Sentence
    undergone as
    well as pending
    and in which
    cases
    FIR No.64/2011
    PS – Bhalswa
    Dairy
    ASJ, Rohini
    Courts, Delhi
    Date of conviction
  • 02.06.2012
    Section 394/397 IPC
    Sentenced to R.I. for 10
    years + Rs.10,000/- fine
    Sentence
    completed
    (Sentence in
    default of fine is
    remaining)
    FIR No.67/2011
    SC No.58/2011
    ASJ, Rohini
    Courts, Delhi
    Date of conviction
    – 28.07.2012
    Section 392/394 IPC
    Sentence to R.I. for 7
    years + Rs.10,000/- fine
    in default for one month
    Currently serving
    sentence.
    As of 11.12.2019,
    he has undergone
    01 year 04
    months and 28
    days.
    During trial, he was
    inside for 01 year
    02 months and 17
    days from
    10.05.2011 to
    27.07.2012.
    FIR No.263/2009
    PS – Janakpuri
    CMM, Tis Hazari
    Courts, Delhi
    Date of conviction
    – 09.09.2013
    Section 394 IPC
    Sentenced to R.I. for 4
    years
    Sentence will
    commence after
    completion of
    sentence in case
    FIR No.67/2011
    FIR No.601/2007
    PS – Model
    Town
    MM, Rohini
    Courts, Delhi
    Section 353/365/506
    IPC
    Sentence to the period
    already undergone
    Convict was inside
    from 04.12.2013 to
    16.09.2014.
    FIR No.234/2012
    PS – Subzi
    Mandi
    MM, Tis Hazari
    Courts, Delhi
    Section 20/61/85 of
    NDPS Act
    Sentence to the period
    already undergone
    Convict was inside
    from 04.12.2013 to
    15.09.2015.
  1. As per the Status Report filed by the DGP on 16.01.2020, the
    appellant is presently undergoing rigorous imprisonment for seven
    years awarded to him in the case in FIR No.67/2011. As seen from
    the above, as on 11.12.2019, the appellant has undergone actual
    sentence of 01 year 04 months and 28 days and has earned
    remission of 6 days. During trial of the case in FIR No.67/2011, the
    4
    appellant was in custody for 01 year 02 months and 17 days from
    10.05.2011 to 27.07.2012. It has been stated that the sentence in the
    case in FIR No.67/2011 started w.e.f. 02.10.2019 after expiry of
    previous sentence of 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment in the case in
    FIR No.64/2011. This sentence of imprisonment of ten years in the
    case in FIR No.64/2011 was completed on 01.10.2019. In the case in
    FIR No.263/2009, the appellant is also convicted and sentenced to 4
    years’ rigorous imprisonment under Section 394 IPC vide order dated
    09.09.2013 in the case in FIR No. 263/2019. This sentence would
    commence after completion of sentence running in the case in FIR
    No. 67/2011. Further on 16.09.2014, the appellant was convicted in
    the case in FIR No.601/2007 under Sections 353, 365 and 506 IPC.
    On 15.09.2015, he was convicted under Sections 20, 61 and 85 of
    NDPS Act in the case in FIR No. 234/2012. However as noted above,
    in both these cases – FIR No.601/2007 and FIR No.234/2012, he was
    sentenced to the period already undergone, i.e. judicial custody from
    04.12.2013 till the date of decision in these cases.
  2. The point falling for consideration is whether the sentence of
    imprisonment in the cases in FIR No.64/2011, FIR No.67/2011 and
    FIR No.263/2009 are to be ordered to run concurrently. We are
    conscious that the case in FIR No.263/2009 is not before us.
    5
    However, considering the facts and circumstances of the case and
    the family background of the appellant and with a view to give quietus
    to the matter, we have considered the case in FIR No.263/2009 also.
  3. Section 427 Crl.P.C. deals with the situations where an offender
    who is already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced
    to imprisonment on a subsequent conviction or imprisonment for life.
    Section 427 Crl.P.C. provides that such imprisonment or
    imprisonment for life shall commence at the expiration of the
    imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced unless the
    Court directs that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with
    such previous sentence. Section 427 Crl.P.C. reads as under:-
    “427. Sentence on offender already sentenced for another offence.-
    (1) When a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is
    sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment or imprisonment
    for life, such imprisonment or imprisonment for life shall commence at the
    expiration of the imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced,
    unless the Court directs that the subsequent sentence shall run
    concurrently with such previous sentence:
    Provided that where a person who has been sentenced to
    imprisonment by an order under section 122 in default of furnishing
    security is, whilst undergoing such sentence, sentenced to imprisonment
    for an offence committed prior to the making of such order, the latter
    sentence shall commence immediately.
    (2) When a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life
    is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment for a term or
    6
    imprisonment for life, the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with
    such previous sentence.”
  4. We may refer to the decision of the Supreme Court in Mohd.
    Akhtar Hussain alias Ibrahim Ahmed Bhatti v. Assistant Collector of
    Customs (Prevention), Ahmedabad and Another (1988) 4 SCC 183,
    wherein the Supreme Court recognised the basic rule of convictions
    arising out of a single transaction justifying concurrent running of the
    sentences. In Mohd. Akhtar Hussain, it was held as under:-
    “10. The basic rule of thumb over the years has 7been the so-called single
    transaction rule for concurrent sentences. If a given transaction constitutes
    two offences under two enactments generally, it is wrong to have
    consecutive sentences. It is proper and legitimate to have concurrent
    sentences. But this rule has no application if the transaction relating to
    offences is not the same or the facts constituting the two offences are quite
    different.
    ……….
  5. The submission, in our opinion, appears to be misconceived. The
    material produced by the State unmistakably indicates that the two
    offences for which the appellant was prosecuted are quite distinct and
    different. The case under the Customs Act may, to some extent, overlap
    the case under the Gold (Control) Act, but it is evidently on different
    transactions. The complaint under the Gold (Control) Act relates to
    possession of 7000 tolas of primary gold prohibited under Section 8 of the
    said Act. The complaint under the Customs Act is with regard to smuggling
    of gold worth Rs 12.5 crores and export of silver worth Rs 11.5 crores. On
    these facts, the courts are not unjustified in directing that the sentences
    should be consecutive and not concurrent.”
    7
  6. After referring to Mohd. Akhtar Hussain and other cases, in V.K.
    Bansal v. State of Haryana and Another (2013) 7 SCC 211, the
    Supreme Court held that the legal position favours exercise of
    discretion to the benefit of the prisoner in cases where the
    prosecution is based on a single transaction no matter different
    complaints may have been filed. In V.K. Bansal, it was held as under:-
    “14. We may at this stage refer to the decision of this Court in Mohd.
    Akhtar Hussain v. Collector of Customs (1988) 4 SCC 183 in which this
    Court recognised the basic rule of convictions arising out of a single
    transaction justifying concurrent running of the sentences. ….”
  7. In Madan Lal case (2009) 5 SCC 238 this Court relied upon the
    decision in Akhtar Hussain case (1988) 4 SCC 183 and affirmed the
    direction of the High Court for the sentences to run concurrently. That too
    was a case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The
    State was aggrieved of the direction that the sentences shall run
    concurrently and had appealed to this Court against the same. This Court,
    however, declined interference with the order passed by the High Court
    and upheld the direction issued by the High Court.
  8. In conclusion, we may say that the legal position favours exercise of
    discretion to the benefit of the prisoner in cases where the prosecution is
    based on a single transaction no matter different complaints in relation
    thereto may have been filed as is the position in cases involving dishonour
    of cheques issued by the borrower towards repayment of a loan to the
    creditor.”
  9. In V.K. Bansal, the appellant-accused was facing fifteen cases
    and the Supreme Court has grouped fifteen cases into three different
    groups:- (i) the first having twelve cases relating to advancement of
    8
    loan/banking facility to M/s Arawali Tubes Ltd. acting through the
    appellant thereon as Director; (ii) the second having two cases
    relating to advancement of loan to the appellant M/s Arawali Alloys
    Ltd. acting through the appellant as its Director; and (iii) the third
    having a single case qua the criminal complaint by the State Bank of
    Patiala. The Court directed that the substantive sentences within first
    two groups would run inter-se concurrently. The Supreme Court
    directed that the substantive sentences in first two groups and that in
    respect of the case in the third group would run consecutively.
  10. Following the decision in V.K. Bansal, in Benson v. State of
    Kerala (2016) 10 SCC 307, the Supreme Court directed that the
    sentences imposed in each of the cases shall run concurrently with
    the sentence imposed in Crime No.8 which was then currently
    operative. However, the Court held that the benefit of “concurrent
    running of sentences” is granted only with respect of substantive
    sentences; but the sentences of fine and default sentences shall not
    be affected by the direction. The Supreme Court observed that the
    provisions of Section 427 Crl.P.C. do not permit a direction for the
    concurrent running of the default sentence for non-payment of fine.
  11. Further, in the case of Anil Kumar v. State of Punjab (2017) 5
    SCC 53, it was held by this court that “in terms of sub-section (1) of
    9
    Section 427, if a person already undergoing a sentence of
    imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to
    imprisonment, such subsequent term of imprisonment would normally
    commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he was
    previously sentenced. Only in appropriate cases, considering the
    facts of the case, the court can make the sentence run concurrently
    with an earlier sentence imposed. The investiture of such discretion,
    presupposes that such discretion be exercised by the court on sound
    judicial principles and not in a mechanical manner. Whether or not the
    discretion is to be exercised in directing sentences to run concurrently
    would depend upon the nature of the offence/offences and the facts
    and circumstances of each case.”
  12. The point falling for consideration is whether the case of the
    appellant is a fit case for exercising the discretion in directing the
    sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently with the sentence of
    imprisonment imposed in the earlier case in FIR No.64/2011. Of
    course, FIR No.64/2011, FIR No.67/2011 and FIR No.263/2009 relate
    to different transactions. Since the appellant was already undergoing
    imprisonment in FIR No.64/2011, in terms of Section 427 Crl.P.C.,
    subsequent sentences shall run consecutively until and unless the
    court specifically directs that they shall run concurrently.
    10
  13. Coming to the facts of the instant case, we find that the
    appellant is a young man with roots in his family. The appellant has
    already undergone 10 years of imprisonment for conviction in FIR
    No.64/2011. The appellant is currently undergoing imprisonment for
    conviction in FIR No.67/2011 out of which he has already
    undergone 01 year 06 months and 16 days as of 29.01.2020. As
    per status report of the DGP (Prison), during the trial in FIR
    No.67/2011, the appellant was in custody for 01 year 02 months and
    17 days i.e. with effect from 10.05.2011 to 27.07.2012. If the
    appellant is to undergo the sentences consecutively, the appellant
    has to undergo another about five years plus four years of
    imprisonment for the conviction in FIR No.263/2009.
  14. Pursuant to the order dated 13.12.2019, the Probation Officer,
    Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi had sent the
    report dated 10.01.2020 stating the family background and also that
    there is ample scope of improvement in the behaviour of the appellant
    and that he may be given a chance for reformation and reintegration
    with the family and the society. As per the report filed by the
    Probation officer dated 10.01.2020, on visiting the residential address
    of the appellant, it was found that his family is very poor and residing
    in a 50 yard house for the last 20 years. The father of the appellant is
    11
    58 years old, having ill health and the only bread winner in the family,
    was working as carpenter. The mother of the appellant was suffering
    from cancer and was not able to take treatment due to the poor
    economic condition. The father of the appellant submitted that the
    appellant was helping in his work before conviction. The elder sister
    of the appellant is married, but since the last one and a half year, she
    has been living in her maternal house due to domestic violence in her
    in-laws’ house. On enquiring from neighbours, they reported in favour
    of the appellant and his family. The family of the appellant expressed
    positive attitude to be reunited with the appellant and desired to live a
    normal social life. The appellant has full acceptance of his family and
    the appellant has also shown keen interest and willingness to re-unite
    with them.
  15. Considering the report of the Probation Officer, illness of the
    mother of the appellant, his family background, facts and
    circumstances of the case and in the interest of justice, in our view,
    this is a fit case for exercising discretion in directing the sentence of
    imprisonment to run concurrently. Since the appellant has a poor
    economic background, fine amount of Rs.10,000/- imposed on him
    each in FIR No.67/2011 and FIR No.263/2009 are set aside and
    therefore, the appellant need not to undergo default sentence of
    12
    imprisonment. This order to run the sentence of imprisonment
    concurrently has been made in the peculiar facts and circumstances
    of the case and the illness of the appellant’s mother and hence, the
    same may not be quoted as precedent in other cases.
  16. In the result, the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon the
    appellant in FIR No.64/2011, FIR No.67/2011 and FIR No.263/2009
    are ordered to run concurrently. The fine amount of Rs.10,000/-
    imposed on the appellant each in FIR No.67/2011 and FIR
    No.263/2009 are set aside and therefore, the appellant need not to
    undergo default sentence of imprisonment. The appellant has
    already undergone rigorous imprisonment for ten years in FIR
    No.64/2011 which is ordered to run concurrently with sentence of
    imprisonment in FIR No.67/2011 and also the sentence of
    imprisonment in FIR No.263/2009. The appellant is ordered to be
    released forthwith. The appeal is, accordingly, disposed of.
    ………………………..J.
    [R. BANUMATHI]
    ………………………..J.
    [A.S. BOPANNA]
    New Delhi;
    January 31, 2020.
    13