Double jeopardy applies to same offence, not same facts: SC

The doctrine of double jeopardy protects a person from being tried and punished twice for the same offence but not from different offences arising out of violation of different laws by the same set of facts.

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2010, 16:04 PM IST

New Delhi: The doctrine of double jeopardy protects a person from being tried and punished twice for the same offence but not from different offences arising
out of violation of different laws by the same set of facts,
the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar
gave this ruling on Tuesday while dismissing starlet Monica
Bedi`s contention that her conviction by a Hyderabad court for
procuring a passport on fictitious name amounted to a double
jeopardy for her as a Portuguese court too had earlier
convicted her for owning forged passport.

It said, "The submission is not well founded for the
simple reason that the same set of facts can constitute
offences under two different laws.

"An act or an omission can amount to and constitute an
offence under the Indian Penal Code and at the same time can
constitute an offence under any other law," said the bench.
It observed that the allegations which led to "the
charges upon which Bedi was convicted (in India) - the charges
under IPC are substantially the same which formed the subject
matter of her prosecution and conviction under the Portugal
law."
"But we have no doubt in holding that the punishment
of the appellant is not for the same offence," said the bench,
dismissing Bedi`s appeal against a Andhra Pradesh High Court
judgment which had also upheld a Hyderabad court`s ruling
convicting her in the passport forgery case and sentencing her
to five years in jail.

PTI