The Supreme Court has held that a person can be sentenced to imprisonment if he or she failed to pay as directed the compensation or fine which is due to another person.
The apex court said there is no need for the courts to adopt any fresh procedures like issuing a notice for attachment of property of the defaulting accused as provided under Section 421 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure Code)
A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph passed the ruling while dismissing the appeal of Vijayan who questioned the six months imprisonment imposed on him as a "default" punishment if he failed to pay Rs 8.25 lakh compensation in a cheque bounce case.
A trial court has imposed the punishment on Vijayan which was confirmed by the sessions court and his appeal was dismissed by the Kerala High Court, after which he filed the appeal in the apex court.
In his argument, counsel for Vijayan claimed courts cannot impose any default punishment as it has only the option of issuing the process of issuing warrants for the levy of fine amount by attachment and sale of movable property of the defaulter or recover the amount as revenue arrears.