Passage - 5
The recent judgment of the Bombay High Court in Nishanth Harishchandra Salvi v. State Of Maharashtra noted several instances where the Act has been interpreted. In Para 9, it has observed,
"The Probation of Offenders(P.O. Act) Act is still in force, but 50 years down the line with ever increasing crime rate, the benefits of the P.O. Act, by judicial trend are not being extended to large number of cases. This is not to say that it ought not to be extended in appropriate cases. The benefits have not been encouraged in cases involving socio-economic offences, offences involving sex perversity cases involving moral turpitude or moral delinquency, cases involving misappropriation of property, gold smuggling, food adulteration offences, offences under Prevention of Corruption Act, and even in cases under Section 304A of IPC. Judicial trend has been cautious in not extending probation to persons who are educated and experienced in life and deliberately flout the law with impunity and to those who are potential dangers to the society."
The 41st report of the Law Commission, in 1969, introduced the concept of "suspension of sentence", which later on came to be embodied in section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973. It was to be imposed in a very limited area of operation, where convicts seeking appeal, in certain cases, could have their sentences suspended and consequently let off on bail, pending the appeal.
For many years, several countries have had a well- grounded system ingrained in their administration of criminal justice where in several cases, (where the offences are mostly petty/common and the maximum sentence is less than two or three years as the case may be) a suspended sentence is awarded.
When a Court imposes a suspended sentence, it is not that the seriousness of the crime is not recognized. Apart from plainly being merciful and allowing the convict to remain in circulation in society - with the Damocles' Sword of being sent to prison hanging over his head as a deterrent - there is probably less chance of the offender, reoffending.
The biggest benefit is mutual - to the offender thus let off, as well as to those who are already in prison. The prison population is minimized, thereby maximizing the sparse facilities for the existing prison population. The other by-product of such a situation is preventing a "soft criminal" from having to spend quality time with the hardened ones.
Q. As per the author, there are several countries in the world which have well-grounded system ingrained in their administration of Criminal justice. Based on the author's argument which of the following is correct?