The Probation of Offenders Act, 1958
[Act No. 20 of 1958]
[6th May 1958]
An Act to provide for the release of offenders on probation or after due admonition and for matters connected therewith
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows: –
1. Extended to the Union Territories of Pondicherry by Act 26 of 1968, sec. 3 and Sch., Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Regn. 6 of 1963 (w.e.f. 1-7-1965) and Goa Daman and Diu by Regn. 11 of 1963 (w.e.f. 18-2-1964) and also to Sikkim (w.e.f. 2-10-1985), vide S.O. 529 dated 22nd July 1983 read with S.O. 720(E) dated 2nd October 1985, published in the Gazette of India Extra., Pt. II, Sec. 3(ii) dated 2nd October 1985.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force in a State on such date as the State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different parts of the State.
(a) “Code” means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)1
(b) “Probation officer” means an officer appointed to be a probation officer or recognised as such under Section 13;
(c) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(d) Words and expression used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)1, shall have the meaning respectively assigned to them in that Code.
1. Now see Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974).
Explanation. -For the purposes of this section, previous conviction against a person shall include any previous order made against him under this section or Section 4.
Provided that the court shall not direct such release of an offender unless it is satisfied that the offender or his surety, if any, has a fixed place of abode or regular occupation in the place over which the court exercises jurisdiction or in which the offender is likely to live during the period for which he enters into the bond.
(2) Before making any order under subsection (1), the court shall take into consideration the report, if any, of the probation officer concerned in relation to the case.
(3) When an order under subsection (1) is made, the court may, if it is of opinion that in the interests of the offender and of the public it is expedient so to do, in addition pass a supervision order directing that the offender shall remain under the supervision of a probation officer named in the order during such period, not being less than one year, as may be specified therein, and may in such supervision order impose such conditions as it deems necessary for the due supervision of the offender.
(4) The court making a supervision order under sub-section (3) shall require the offender, before he is released, to enter into a bond, with or without sureties, to observe the conditions specified in such order and such additional conditions with respect to residence, abstention from intoxicants or any other matter as the court may, having regard to the particular circumstances, consider fit to impose for preventing a repetition of the same offence or a commission of other offences by the offender.
(5) The court making a supervision order under sub-section (3) shall explain to the offender the terms and conditions of the order and shall forthwith furnish one copy of the supervision order to each of the offenders, the sureties, if any, and the probation officer concerned.
(a) Such compensation as the court thinks reasonable for loss or injury caused to ‘any person by the commission of the offence; and
(b) Such costs of the proceedings as the court thinks reasonable.
(2) The amount ordered to be paid under subsection (1) may be recovered as fine in accordance with the provisions of Section 386 and 387 of the Code.
(3) A civil court trying any suit, arising out of the same matter for which the offender is prosecuted, shall take into account any amount paid or recovered as compensation under sub-section (1) in awarding damages.
(2) For the purpose of satisfying itself whether it would not be desirable to deal under. Section 3 or Section 4 with an offender referred to in sub-section (1), the court shall call for a report from the probation officer and consider the report, if any, and any other information available to it relating to the character and physical and mental condition of the offender.
Provided that the court may, if it so thinks fit, communicate the, substance thereof to the offender and may give him an opportunity of Producing such evidence as may be relevant to the matter stated in the report.
Provided that no such variation shall be made without giving the offender and the surety or sureties mentioned in the bond an opportunity of being heard.
(2) If any surety refuses to consent to any variation proposed to be made under sub-section (1), the court may require the offender to enter into a fresh bond and if the offender refuses or fails to do so, the court may sentence him for the offence of which
(3) Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, the court which passes an order under Section 4 in respect of an offender may, if it is satisfied on an application made by the probation officer that the conduct of the offender has been such as to make it unnecessary that he should be kept any longer under supervision, discharge the bond or bonds entered into by him.
(2) The court before which 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-
(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.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, where an order under Section 3 or Section 4 is made by any court trying the offender (other than a High Court), an appeal shall lie to the court to which appeals ordinarily lie from the sentences of the former court.
(3) In any case where any person under twenty-one years of age is found guilty of having committed an offence and the court by which he is found guilty declines to deal with him under Section 3 or Section 4, and passes against him any sentence of imprisonment with or without fine from which no appeal lies or is preferred, then, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code or any other law, the court to which appeals ordinarily lie from the sentences of the former court may, either of its own motion or on an application made to it by the convicted person or the probation officer, call for and examine the record of the case and pass such order thereon as it thinks fit.
(4) When an order has been made under Section 3 or Section 4 in respect of an offender, the Appellate Court or the High Court in the exercise of its power of revision may set aside such order and in lieu thereof pass sentence on such offender according to law:
Provided that the Appellate Court or the High Court in revision shall not inflict a greater punishment than might have been inflicted by the court by which the offender was found guilty,
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to a person who, after his release under Section 4 is subsequently sentenced for the original offence.
(a) A person appointed to be a probation officer by the State Government or recognised as such by the State Government; or
(b) A person provided for this purpose by a society recognised in this behalf by the State Government; or
(c) In any exceptional case, any other person whom in the opinion of the court, is fit to act as a probation officer in the special circumstances of the case.
(2) A court which passes an order under Section 4 or the District Magistrate of the district in which the offender for the time being resides may, at any time, appoint any -probation officer in the place of the person named in the supervision order:
Explanation. -For the purposes of this section, a presidency town shall be deemed to be a district and Chief Presidency Magistrate shall be deemed to be the District Magistrate of that district.
(3) A probation officer, in the exercise of his duties under this Act, shall be subject to the control of the District Magistrate of the district, in which the offender for the time being resides,
In Section 13 renumber the existing Explanation as Explanation I and insert thereafter the following. –
Explanation II. –For the purpose of this section, the city of Ahmedabad as defined in clause (2) of Section 2 of the Ahmedabad City Courts Act, 1961 (Guj. Act 19of 1961] shall be deemed to be district and the Chief Magistrate appointed under that act shall be deemed to the District
[Guj. Act 33 of 1964].
In its application to the State of Maharashtra in sub-section (1) of Section 13, in clause (a) after the words “probation officer by the State Government” insert the words “or by such officer as the State Govt. may, subject to such restrictions and conditions (if any) is it may impose by order authorise in this behalf
[Mah. Act 33 of 1964].
(a) Inquire, in accordance with any directions of a court, into the circumstances or home surroundings of any person accused of all offence with a view to assist the court ill determining the most suitable method of dealing with him and submit reports to the court;
(b) Supervise probationers and other persons placed under his supervision and, where necessary, endeavour to find them suitable employment;
(c) Advise and assist offenders in the payment of compensation or costs ordered by the court;
(d) Advise and assist, in such cases and in such manner as may be prescribed, persons who have been released under Section 4; and
(e) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely: –
(a) Appointment of probation officers, the terms and conditions of their service and the area within which they are to exercise jurisdiction;
(b) Duties of probation officers under this Act and the submission of reports by them;
(c) The conditions on which societies may be recognised for the purposes of Clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 13;
(d) The payment of remuneration and expenses to probation officers or of a subsidy to any society which provides probation officers; and
(e) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed.
(3) All rules made under this section shall be subject to the condition of previous publication and shall, as soon as may be after they are made, be laid before the State Legislature.
1. The words or the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act 1956, omitted by Act 46 of 1978, sec. 20 (w.e.f. 2-10-1979).
1. Now see sections 16 and 17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974).
2. Now see section 360 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974).
After Section 19 insert the following:
“20. Repeal of Bombay act XIX of 1938-
In the area in which the Act comes into force (hereinafter referred to as ‘the said area’)” –
(1) If the said area forms part of the Bombay area of the State of Gujarat the Bombay Probation of Offenders Act, 1938 (Bombay Act XLX of 1938);
(2) If the said area forms part of the Saurashtra area of the State of Gujarat, the Bombay Probation of Offenders Act, 1938 (Bombay Act XIX of 1938), as adapted and applied to the said Saurashtra area; and
(3) If the said area forms part of the Kutch area of the State of Gujarat the Bombay Probation of Offenders Act, 1938 (Bombay Act XIX of 1938), as applied to Kutch Area.
Shall stand repealed with effect from and on the date on which the Act comes into force in the said area:
Provided that such repeal shall not affect: –
(a) The previous operation of any law so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder,
(b) Any right, privilege obligation or liability acquired, accused or incurred under any law so repealed; or
(c) Any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred under any law so repealed in respect of any offence; or
(d) Any investigation, legal proceedings or remedy in respect of such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment, as aforesaid,
And any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued, enforced and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as it this Act had not come into force:
Provided further that anything done or any action taken (including any appointment made recognition given or rule or order made) under the provisions of any law so repealed under this section and in force immediately before the said date shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of this Act and shall continue in force until superseded by anything done or any action taken under the provisions of this Act.
[Gujarat Act XXXIII of 1964].