Number - Section 9

Number - Section 9

Our Constitution is inspired by many countries such as The United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, etc. But we also stand out due to our worthy judicial system, acts like the Indian Penal Code,1860 (IPC), Criminal Code of Conduct, 1908 (CrPC) are some of the examples of our judicial system which has always been unbiased and explicit while executing its powers. In IPC, every law has been specified distinctly with its explanation and example if required. One such law is Section 9 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which deals with numbers.

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What is Section 9?

Section 9 of the Indian Penal Code defines “unless the contrary appears from the context, words importing the singular number include the plural number, and words importing the plural number include the singular number.”

In simple words, while we use the singular to express only one in grammar e.g. Fallon. And use the plural to example many e.g. cars. In law, such words which bring in singular numbers include plural number e.g., a vending machine. It will include all vending machines which are there in the area. 

And words which bring in plural numbers include singular numbers, e.g., A bestowed an estate to “his nearest relation”, this estate will be bestowed to all the relations in the same degree, who are nearest to A. Unless the contrary is specified under some sort of will.

Is Section 9 bailable?

Bail simply means the release of an accused person awaiting trial on a temporary basis, sometimes on the condition that a sum of money is registered to make sure their appearance in Court. Till now, there hasn’t been any clear-cut proclamation in the Indian Penal Code regarding this matter. Bail may be granted if the damage is substantial or may not be granted if the damages have a ruinous effect, based on the matter and the decree passed by the Court.

What is the punishment for the Section 9 Case?

This offence has no punishment in essence but with strong evidence against the accused, the Court can pass a rigorous decree.                   

Is Section 9 a cognizable offence or a non-cognizable offence?

A cognizable offence is defined as an offence where a police officer can arrest a person without a warrant. After the arrest has been made, the accused will be presented before the Magistrate within 24 hours. In this case, it is a non - cognizable offence. Even if the damage caused by the accused is done voluntarily, police cannot arrest him/her without a warrant as this will go in opposition to a citizen’s fundamental right enumerated in the Constitution of India, 1949.

How to file/defend your case for Section 9 offence? 

Defending one’s case in this matter can cause a tinge of trouble to both parties. If the document has not explicitly specified any section or note that the execution should be taken into consideration only on a single basis, then the Advocates have the burden to prove that document was in plural or single number, whichever appropriate and fitting their client’s needs. 

If the prosecution or defense has strong and vital evidence through which it can be observed that this executor deliberately caused damage and has a malicious intention. The accused can be punished as the Court fits it mandatory.

Is Section 9 a bailable or non-bailable offence?           

As stated above, there are no rigid laws in this matter, the accused can be set free before the trial on bail if the Courts deem fit.

Famous judgment w.r.t. Section 9:

Rajesh Choudhary vs State Of Rajasthan on 12 November 1986

The learned Sessions Judge by his impugned order upheld the preliminary objection and it was held by the learned Sessions Judge that the Additional Sessions Judge exercises the power of the Sessions Court in the cases, which are transferred to him for trial and as such, in the cases, which have been transferred to the Additional Sessions Judge, the Sessions Judge has no power, authority or jurisdiction to hear the applications for bail. As the Additional Sessions Judge when passes any order, he exercises the jurisdiction of the Court of J "Session, and the Additional Sessions Judge has no independent or any other power other than the jurisdiction or power of Sessions Court. So, the question that arises for consideration in these revision petitions is as to whether the Court of Session has jurisdiction or is competent to hear an application for bail Under Section 439, Cr. P.C. even when the application for bail is rejected by the learned Additional Sessions, Judge. For the proper appreciation and adjudication of the controversy, it is necessary to look into the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the scheme of the Code. Chapter II of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with the constitution of criminal courts and offices. The relevant provisions in this Chapter are Section 6, 7, 9, and 10.  Section 6 provides classes of Criminal Courts. It lays down as under Besides the High Courts and the Courts constituted under any law, other than this Code, there shall be, in every State, the following classes of Criminal Courts, namely 

  1. Court of Session;

  2. Judicial Magistrates of the First Class and, in any metropolitan area, Metropolitan Magistrates;

  3. Judicial Magistrates of the second class; and

  4. Executive Magistrates.

Section 7 deals with Territorial Division and it, inter alia, provides that every State shall be a sessions division or shall consist of sessions divisions; and every sessions division shall, for the purposes of this Code, be a district or consist of districts. The most material provision is Section 9, which is reproduced hereunder:

Court of Session:

  1. The State Government shall establish a Court of Session for every Sessions division.

  2. Every Court of Session shall be presided over by a Judge, to be appointed by the High Court.

  3. The High Court may also appoint Additional Sessions Judges and Assistant Sessions Judges to exercise jurisdiction in a Court of Session.

  4. The Sessions Judge of one sessions division may be appointed by the High Court to be also an Additional Sessions Judge of another division, and in such case, he may sit for the disposal of cases at such place or places in the other division as the High Court may direct.

  5. Where the office of the Sessions Judge is vacant, the High Court may make arrangements for the disposal of any urgent application, which is, or maybe, made or pending before such Court of Session by an Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge, or, if there be no Additional or Assistant Sessions Judge, by a Chief Judicial Magistrate, in the sessions division; and every such Judge or Magistrate shall have jurisdiction to deal with any such application.

  6. The Court of Session shall ordinarily hold its sitting at such place or places as the High Court may, by notification, specify, but, if, in any particular case, the Court of Session is of the opinion that it will tend to the general convenience of the parties and witnesses to hold its sittings at any other place in the Sessions division, it may, with the consent of the prosecution and the accused, sit at that place for the disposal of the case or the examination of any witness or witnesses therein.


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Conclusion: Law can at times be ambiguous. Section and Article are hard to understand from a layman's perspective, but with short research from Google or by reading blogs, articles stated by learned people one can only have limited knowledge on the topic. Advocates after years of practice, hard work, research have learned and completely understood the mindset of our ancestors. Professional help or as stated by our Constitution “Legal Aid” is every citizen’s fundamental right, therefore, it's your Advocate's duty to understand your case and present it in a manner that shall befit his client’s needs. 

This remarkable article was drafted by Ms. Nishi Ved, a Fourth-year B.L.S.L.L.B. student, M.K.E.S. College of Law, Mumbai.
Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Number Depends on court non-cognizable Bailable Any Magistrate
Offence Number
Punishment Depends on court
Cognizance non-cognizable
Bail Bailable
Triable By Any Magistrate


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