Breaking News

Classes of Criminal Courts and their Sentencing Power


In every State, there are following classes of criminal courts:
1. High Court
2. Court of Session
3. Judicial Magistrates of the first class and, in any metropolitan area, Metropolitan Magistrates
4. Judicial Magistrates of the second class
5. Executive Magistrates

Sentence and fine which the Courts may impose:
The sentencing powers of the courts have been provided under sections 28, 29 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1979. As per them the courts can sentence a person and impose fine as:

High Court – A High Court may pass any sentence authorized by law.

Sessions Judge or Additional Sessions Judge - A Sessions Judge or Additional Sessions Judge may pass any sentence authorized by law; but any sentence of death passed by any such Judge shall be subject to confirmation by the High Court.

Assistant Sessions Judge - An Assistant Sessions Judge may pass any sentence authorized by law except a sentence of death or of imprisonment for life or of imprisonment for a term exceeding ten years.

Chief Judicial Magistrate - The Court of a Chief Judicial Magistrate may pass any sentence authorized by law except a sentence of death or of imprisonment for life or of imprisonment for a term exceeding seven years.

Magistrate of the First Class - The Court of a Magistrate of the first class may pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or of fine not exceeding five thousand rupees, or of both.

Magistrate of the Second Class - The Court of a Magistrate of the second class may pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or of fine not exceeding one thousand rupees, or of both.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate - Court of a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate shall have the powers of the
Court of a Chief Judicial Magistrate and that of a Metropolitan Magistrate, the powers of the Court of a Magistrate of the first class.

Also, the court can impose sentence of imprisonment in default of fine. The provision of sentence of imprisonment in default of fine has been given in section 30 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1979. Section 30 reads as:

30. Sentence of imprisonment in default of fine.-
(1) The Court of a Magistrate may award such term of imprisonment in default of payment of fine as is authorized by law:
Provided that the term-
(a) is not in excess of the powers of the Magistrate under section 29;
(b) shall not, where imprisonment has been awarded as part of the substantive sentence, exceed one-fourth of the term of imprisonment which the Magistrate is competent to inflict as punishment for the offence otherwise than as imprisonment in default of payment of the fine.
(2) The imprisonment awarded under this section may be in addition to a substantive sentence of imprisonment for the maximum term awardable by the Magistrate under section 29.”

No comments