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Suspension of Sentence from High Court Chandigarh

Suspension means to take or withdraw the sentence for the time being. It is an act of keeping the sentence in abeyance at the pleasure of the person who is authorized to suspend the sentence, and if no conditions are imposed, the person authorized to suspend the sentence has the right to have the offender re­-arrested and direct that he should undergo the rest of the sentence without assigning any reason.  

Section 389 (1) and (2) of Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) deal with a situation where a convicted person can get a Bail from appellate court after filing the criminal appeal. Section 389 (3) deals with a situation where the trial court itself can grant bail to convicted accused enabling him to prefer an appeal. 



Suspension of Sentence from High Court Chandigarh

Section 389 in The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with the Suspension of sentence pending the appeal; release of appellant on bail. According to this section:

  1. Pending any appeal by a convicted person, the Appellate Court may, for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended and, also, if he is in confinement, that he be released on bail, or on his own bond.
  2. The power conferred by this section on an Appellate Court may be exercised also by the High Court in the case of an appeal by a convicted person to a Court subordinate thereto.
  3. Where the convicted person satisfies the Court by which he is convicted that he intends to present an appeal, the Court shall,


(i) where such person, being on bail, is sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or

(ii) where the of which such person has been convicted is a bailable one, and he is on bail, order that the convicted person be released on bail, unless there are special reasons for refusing bail, for such period as will afford sufficient time to present the appeal and obtain the orders of the Appellate Court under sub-section (1); and the sentence of imprisonment shall, so long as he is so released on bail, be deemed to be suspended.


  1. When the appellant is ultimately sentenced to imprisonment for a term or to imprisonment for life, the time during which he is so released shall be excluded in computing the term for which he is so sentenced.



Under this provision, a judge has the power to delay the defendant's serving of a sentence after they have been found guilty, in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation. If the defendant does not break the law during that period and fulfills the conditions of the probation, the judge can dismiss his sentence.


The High Court under Section 389(1) has the power to order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended pending the appeal. There are chances that the Accused could be thrown out of his/her job during the pendency of the appeal and since their culpability is to be determined at the time of final arguments. During this time, the High Court has the power to stay the conviction of the Accused pending appeal.

In Suspension of Sentence, the only sentence is suspended during the pendency of the appeal and conviction subsists whereas,in case of suspension of conviction, the conviction is suspended from the date of the order.



The following case deals with a similar section:

Facts of the case:

  • The Punjab and Haryana high court had admitted an appeal filed by Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh against his conviction in the 2002 murder case of Sirsa based journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati.
  • The high court bench of justice AB Chaudhari and Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal, while admitting the appeal for hearing as per its turn, has stayed the recovery of fine Rs. 50,000 imposed on Ram Rahim by special central bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, Panchkula.
  • The Dera head had been lodged in Sunaria jail of Rohtak since August 2017, after his conviction in two rape cases in 2002 of female disciples at dera premises.
  • In the Chhatarpati case, he was convicted on January 17 along with three others to life imprisonment.
  • The other convicts are KrishanLal, former sect. manager; Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh, both carpenters at the Dera premises in Sirsa.
  • Chhatarpati, the editor of evening newspaper ‘PooraSach’, was shot at the point-blank range at his Sirsa home on October 24, 2002, after his newspaper published an anonymous letter alleging women Sadhvis’ or followers were sexually harassed and raped by Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters.
  • Three weeks later, Chhatarpati has succumbed to his injuries.
  • In the appeal, the Dera head has alleged that he had been falsely implicated by the CBI in the murder case.
  • The court was told that the version of Khatta Singh, former driver of the Dera head and key witness of the CBI, stands falsified in the cross-examination of the CBI investigating officer during the trial.
  • The Dera head also argued that in the initial chargesheet filed by the Haryana Police, he was not named as accused and his name was added as accused only after the CBI came in the picture, as it was handed over the probe by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2003.
  • Ram Rahim had no reason to murder a journalist since it was an evening newspaper and published what appeared in morning dailies, the court told.




FACTS of this case: Navjot Singh Sidhu along with co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu was tried for charges under Section 302 Indian Penal Code and Section 323 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, but were acquitted by the learned Sessions Judge, Patiala, by the judgment and order dated 22-9-1999. This order was challenged by the State of Punjab by filing an appeal in the High Court which has been allowed and the appellant has been convicted under Section 304 Part II Indian Penal Code and has been sentenced to 3 years R.I. and a fine of rupees one lakh.

DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT: Supreme Court held that The Representation of the People Act, 1951 provides not only the eligibility and qualification for membership of the House of People and Legislative Assembly but also for disqualification on conviction and other matters. The Parliament in its wisdom has made a specific provision for disqualification on conviction by enacting Section 8, it is not for the Court to abridge or expand the same.

The decisions of this Court have recognized the power possessed by the Court of appeal to suspend or stay an order of the conviction and has also laid down the parameters for exercise of such power, it is not possible to hold, as a matter of rule, or, to lay down, that in order to prevent any person who has committed an offense from entering the Parliament or the Legislative Assembly the order of the conviction should not be suspended. The Courts have to interpret the law as it stands and not on considerations which may be perceived to be morally more correct or ethical. The order of conviction passed against the appellant by the High Court on 1-12-2006 and the sentence awarded on 6-1202006 is suspended and the conviction shall not be operative till the decision of the appeal.”



You may consult top/expert/best Criminal Lawyers/Advocates/Attorneys for your criminal case regarding suspension of sentence in Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh or any of the Sessions Court spread across the two states.

This post is written by Damini Aggarwal of Punjab University (2020 batch). For more info on subject, please dial 99888-17966.

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