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Probation of Offenders Act, 1958

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The Act gives immunity to offenders and grants probation under the age of 21 from imprisonment unless the court is convinced with the special reason to send the offender to imprisonment. The Act is a statutory recognition to Gandhian thoughts.


State Governments are allowed to make rules and regulations as per their requirements. The Madras Probation of Offenders Act, 1936 became the basis for State Governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to adopt and make their rules in the form of Karnataka Probation of Offenders Rules, 1960 and Andhra Pradesh Probation of Offenders Rules, 1963 respectively.

Sections from the Act

  • Section 1: Short title extent and commencement
  • Section 2: Definitions
  • Section 3: Power of court to release certain offenders after admonition
  • Section 4: Power of court to release certain officers on probation of good conduct
  • Section 5: Power of court to require released offenders to pay compensation and costs
  • Section 6: Restrictions on imprisonment of offenders under twenty-one years of age
  • Section 7: Report of probation officer to be confidential
  • Section 8: Variation of conditions of probation
  • Section 9: Procedure in case of offender failing to observe conditions of bond
  • Section 10: Provision as to sureties
  • Section 11: Courts competent to make order under the Act, appeal and revision and powers of courts in appeal and revision
  • Section 12: Removal of disqualification attaching to conviction
  • Section 13: Probation officers
  • Section 14: Duties of probation officers
  • Section 15: Probation officers to be public servants
  • Section 16: Protection of action taken in good faith
  • Section 17: Power to make rules
  • Section 18: Saving of operation of certain enactments
  • Section 19: Section 562 of the Code not to apply in certain areas

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Laws

  • State of Rajasthan v Sri Chand, Criminal Appeal Jurisdiction, Criminal Appeal No. 561 OF 2009, Supreme Court of India judgement dated May 11, 2014
  • Ram Singh vs State of Haryana (1971) 3 SCC 914; R Mahalingam vs G Padmavathi and another, 1979 CrLJ (NOC) 20 (Mad): It was held that sections 4 and 6 of the Act indicate the procedure requiring the Court to call for a report from the probation officer and consider it. As per Section 4(1) of PO Act, such report is mandatory.

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