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What are the punishments under Indian Penal Code Section 53 of Indian Penal Code 1860

Punishments under Indian Penal Code are defined under Section 53 of Indian Penal Code 1860. Provisions in the Act is:





Section 53 of Indian Penal Code. "Punishments" The punishments to which offenders are liable under the provisions of this Code are-

1 [Secondly.-Imprisonment for life;]

2 * * * * *

Fourthly.-Imprisonment, which is of two descriptions, namely:-

(1) Rigorous, that is, with hard labour;

(2) Simple;

Fifthly.-Forfeiture of property;



1. Subs. by Act 26 of 1955, s. 117 and the Sch., for "Secondly.-Transportation" (w.e.f. 1-1-1956).

2. Cl. Thirdly omitted by Act 17 of 1949, s. 2 (w.e.f. 6-4-1949).



The punishment of death may be imposed on the following offences: (a) Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the Government of India -Section 121 I.PC.;

(b) Abetment of mutiny actually committed  Sec. 132 of I.P.C.;

(c) Giving or fabricating false evidence upon which an innocent person suffers death  Sec. 194

(d) Murder  Section 302;

(e) Punishment for murder by a life-convict  Sec. 303 [This Section was struck down by the Supreme Court holding that it was unconstitutional, while disposing the case Mithu v. State of Punjab, AIR 1983 SC 4731;

(g) Attempt to murder by a person under sentence of imprisonment for life, if hurt is caused  Sec. 3071.PC;

(h) Dacoity with murder  Sec. 396 I.P.C.


Imprisonment for Life

Before 1955, the words transportation for life was used. The Code of Criminal Procedure Amendment Act, 1955 (Act No. 26 of 1955) substituted the words Imprisonment for life in place of transportation for life. The general public thinks that imprisonment for life means only 14 years imprisonment, and the convict shall be released as soon as the 14 years period is lapsed. It is wrong presumption. Actually, the punishment under the Imprisonment for Life means imprisonment for the whole of the remaining period of the convicted persons natural life. During the British Rule, the convicts under transportation for life was used to be deported to the Andaman and other Colonies and were taken for ever from the society of all who were acquainted with him. After independence, such system was stopped. Now the convicts under imprisonment for life are imprisoned in the Prisons of the States concerned. The life convict is not entitled to automatic release on completion of fourteen years imprisonment, unless on special occasions, the Government may pass an order considering the good behavior and conduct of the convict remitting the balance of imprisonment for life.


Fore feature of Property

Forfeiture is the divestiture of specific property without compensation in consequence of some default or act of forbidden by law. The Courts may order for forfeiture of property of the accused in certain occasions. In white collar crimes, and where a Government employee or any private person accumulates black money and black assets, and there is no genuine answer and proof for such money and properties with such person, the Court may award for forfeiture of property.


The Courts may impose fine along with or without imprisonment. The Indian Penal Code mentions the punishment of fine for several offences, generally with or without imprisonment.

Amount of fine- According to Section 63, where no sum is expressed to which a fine may extend, the amount of fine to which the offender is liable is unlimited, but shall not be excessive.

Sentence of imprisonment for non-payment of fine - According to Section 64, in every case of an offence punishable with imprisonment as well as fine, in which the offender is sentenced to a fine, whether with or without imprisonment, and in every case of an offence punishable with imprisonment or fine, or with fine only, in which the offender is sentenced to a fine, it shall be competent to the Court which sentences such offender to direct by the sentence that, in default of payment of the fine, the offender shall suffer imprisonment for a certain term, which imprisonment shall be in excess of any other imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced or to which he may be liable under a commutation of a sentence. Limit to imprisonment if fine imposed is not paid - Section 65 lays down that the term for which the Court directs the offender to be imprisoned in default of payment of a fine shall not exceed one- fourth of the term of imprisonment which is the maximum fixed for the offence, if the offence be punishable with imprisonment as well as fine

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