Law: Nature and Classification (AILET (All India Law Entrance Test) Legal-Aptitude): Questions 68 - 68 of 74

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Question number: 68

» Law: Nature and Classification

Appeared in Year: 2016



LEGAL PRINCIPLE: According to Article 20 (1) of the Constitution, no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.

FACTUAL SITUATION: ‘P’ was charged with an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term of one year. The Magistrate convicted him and awarded him a punishment of one-year imprisonment. While ‘P’ was undergoing the sentence, the law under which ‘P’ was convicted came to be amended and the punishment for the offence of which ‘P’ was convicted was reduced to six months. The defense filed an application to the Magistrate for review of sentence and to commute it to six months. Can the application be allowed?


Choice (4) Response


No, because a penal statute cannot be given retrospective effect.


No, since at the time of coming into force of the amended law, ‘P’ was already suffering the sentence and had not completed the full term. Hence, his case should not be dealt under the new law.


Yes, because retrospective application of criminal law if it is beneficial to the accused is not against Article 20 (1) of the Constitution.


No, because penal laws only have prospective application.

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