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Rigorous Imprisonment of more than 20 years reduced to 3 months: Jharkhand High Court

When the accused have faced rigorous criminal case for more than 20 years and there are no criminal antecedents of the accused, the court may consider the view that to meet the ends of justice, the sentence of the petitioners calls for some modification. A single bench comprising of Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary adjudicating in the matter of Jagdish Singh Dixy vs. the State of Jharkhand (Cr. Revision No. 918 of 2013) dealt with an issue of whether to modify the sentence passed by the Trial Court or not.

In the present case, a revision petition has been filed challenging the legality or correctness of the judgment passed by the Sessions Court Jamshedpur, where the Petitioner was convicted for the offences u/s 147,342,323,448 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code has been upheld and the conviction and sentence of the petitioners for the offence under Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code has been set aside.

The learned Trial Court had convicted the petitioners for the offence under Sections 147, 341, 342, 323, 448, 385, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced all the petitioners to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year each for the charges under Sections 147,385 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and six months rigorous imprisonment each for the charges under Sections 342,323 and 448 of the Indian Penal Code and all the sentences were directed to run concurrently.

The petitioners submitted that The Trial Court convicted the petitioner’s u/s 147/341/342/323/448/385/506 of the Indian Penal Code but they were acquitted by the Appellate Court for the alleged offense under Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code. It was stated that the judgment was passed 15.09.2009 and at the time of conviction, the petitioner nos. 1,2,3,4 were of 50 years, 48 years, 40 years and 46 years of age respectively and accordingly their present age are about 62 years, 60 years, 51 years and 57 years respectively. He submits that they have faced the rigorous of criminal case for more than 20 years and accordingly some sympathetic view may be taken.

The Opposite Party stated that the Appellate Court had modified the sentence of the petitioners for the offence under Sections 147 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, though the petitioners were acquitted for offence under Section 385 of the IPC by the learned Appellate Court. It was also submitted that conviction under Sections 147, 342, 323, 448, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, there is no perversity or illegality, so far as the conviction of the petitioners is concerned.

After hearing the submissions of Petitioner and Opposite Party,  the court found that the petitioner went to the house of the informant and assaulted him, and dragged him into the hospital. They demanded Rs. 5000/-  for the treatment of the wife otherwise they will continue to assault him and the informant was forced to pay the sum. Later the case was registered and the petitioners were charged u/s 147,341,342,323,448,384,504 and 506 of the IPC. They pleaded not guilty against the charges and pleaded innocence. The court held that” the fact remains that the case is of the year 2001 and the petitioners were convicted vide judgment dated 15.09.2009 and at the time of conviction, the petitioner nos. 1,2,3,4 were of 50 years, 48 years, 40 years and 46 years of age respectively and accordingly their present age are about 62 years, 60 years, 51 years and 57 years respectively. The petitioners have faced rigorous criminal cases for more than 20 years and there appear to be no criminal antecedents of the petitioners from the records of the present case. Under the aforesaid circumstances, this court is of the considered view that to meet the ends of justice, the sentence of the petitioners calls for some modification. Accordingly, the sentence of each petitioner is modified and reduced to rigorous imprisonment of 3 months under each Section 147,342,323,448 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code with a fine of Rs.5000/-(Rs.1000/- under each section) to be deposited by each of the petitioners within a period of two months from the date of communication of this order”.

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