Probation is the suspension of the sentence of an offender and allowing them to stay in the community while inculcating good behavior, under the supervision of a probation officer.
The report of a Probation officer is important at the time of passing order by the Court to release the Offender without imposing any sentence on him. In the matter of Gouranga Charan bhol vs. State of Orisa, it was laid down that in the absence of a report from the Probation officer. The court has no authority to release the accused on probation. This view is supported by the Mysore High Court in the case of State of Mysore vs. Saib Gunda (1964) Cr. L.J 460.
Power of Court to release certain offenders after admonition (instruction)
The Court has the power to release certain offenders after giving instruction to them under section 3 of THE PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT, 1958.
Let’s understand when the Court can exercise this power to release the Offender:
1. When any person is found guilty of having committed an offense:-
• Punishable under section 379 of IPC, 1860 (Whoever Commits Theft) or
• Punishable under section 380 of IPC, 1860 (Whoever Commits theft in dwelling house) or
• Punishable under section 381 of IPC, 1860 (Theft by clerk or servant of property in possession of master) or
• Punishable under section 404 of IPC, 1860 (Dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by deceased person at the time of his death) or
• Punishable under section 420 of IPC, 1860 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) or
2. Any offense punishable with imprisonment for not more than two years, or with fine, or with both, under the Indian Penal Code or any other law, and
3. No previous conviction is proved against offender and
4. The court by which the person is found guilty is of opinion that, having regard to the circumstances of the case including the nature of the offense, and the character of the offender,
After consideration of all the above factors the Probation officer instead of the sentencing the offender to any punishment or releasing him on probation of good conduct under section 4 of THE PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT,1958, releases him (Offender) after due admonition.
What if the Offender Failed to a fulfilled condition which is imposed on him at the time of release on probation period;
If the Offender failed to fulfill the condition which has been imposed by the Court on him, then Court Can take following steps against the offender:
1. Court Can issue an arrest warrant against him or may issue summons to him and to the surety to appear before the Court.
2. When Offender Appears before the Court, the court may either remand him to custody until the case is concluded or it may grant him bail, with or without surety, to appear on the date which it may fix for hearing.
3. If the Court After hearing the case, if the court satisfied that the offender has failed to follow conditions which have been mentioned in the bond then the Court may :
a. Sentence him for Original offense
b. If failure to follow the condition for the first time then the court may impose a penalty on the offender or order him to continue to follow the condition which is mentioned in the bond.
4. If the Offender failed to pay the penalty within a time period has given by the Court then the court may sentence the offender for the original offense.