Section 9 – Procedure in case of offender failing to observe conditions of bond – Probation of Offenders Act

(2) The Court before whom an offender is so brought or appears 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, is satisfied that the offender has failed to observe any of the conditions of the bond or bonds entered into by him, it may forthwith—

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(a) Sentence him for the original offence; or

(b) Where the failure is for the first time, then, without prejudice to the continuance in force of the bond, impose upon him a penalty not exceeding fifty rupees.

(4) If a penalty imposed under clause (b) of sub-section (3) is not paid within such period as the Court may fix, the Court may sentence the offender for the original offence.

Comment:

The section lays down the consequences that may follow in the event of violation of condition of probation by the probationer. Where the person released on probation fails to observe any condition or conditions of bond, the Court on receiving such information, may:—

(i) Issue a warrant of arrest against the probationer and order his presence before the Court for inquiry or hearing; or

(ii) Summon the probationer or his sureties or both, to be present in the Court on a specified date and explain their conduct; or

(iii) Remand the probationer to custody or order him to arrange for bail with or without sureties within a specified time; or

(iv) Sentence the probationer for his original offence and order his imprisonment; or

(v) Where the failure to observe the condition of probation is for the first time, the probationer may be awarded a penalty not exceeding rupees fifty and if he fails to pay the penalty within the specified time, the Court may sentence him for the original offence and send him to jail.

The probationer shall, however, be allowed an opportunity to defend himself while he is being dealt with under this section.

The Supreme Court in Ramamurthy v. State of Karnataka, has observed that probation really results in suspension of sentence, as the person released on probation is required to execute a bond under the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, requiring maintenance of good conduct during the period of probation; the failure to do so on his part will find him in prison again. The Act contains provision for varying the conditions of probation and also lays down the procedure to be followed in case the probationer violates any of the conditions.