Courts have discretion to order sentences to run concurrently: SC

The Supreme Court of India clarified that the courts have full discretion to order sentences for two or more offences at one trial to run concurrently and rejected that the normal rule is to order the sentence to be consecutive.

A Large Bench of the Court said, “Section 31 Cr.P.C. leaves full discretion with the Court to order sentences for two or more offences at one trial to run concurrently, having regard to the nature of offences and attendant aggravating or mitigating circumstances.”

The Court said there is no reason to hold that normal rule is to order the sentence to be consecutive and exception is to make the sentences concurrent. Of course, if the Court does not order the sentence to be concurrent, one sentence may run after the other, in such order as the Court may direct.

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