The object of any criminal jurisprudence is reformative in character and to take care of the victim: The Supreme Court of India

It is towards this objective that Section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is enacted in the statute. The objective of which is to apply whole or any part of the fine recovered to be applied on payment to any person of compensation for any loss or  injury caused by the offence. In the present case, it is one of voluntarily offering the amount albeit to seek a reduction of sentence. The aforesaid has been established by the Supreme Court of India while adjudicating the case of Samaul SK. v. The State Of Jharkhand & Anr. [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO .894 OF 2021] which was decided upon by a single judge bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on 31st August 2021.

Hena Bibi, respondent No.2/complainant claimed to be the legally married wife of the appellant, the marriage having been solemnised as per Muslim customs & rites. It may be noticed that the appellant was already married to one Mastra Bibi and he apparently had illicit relationship with respondent No.2, which culminated in their marriage. The two parties are stated to have lived as husband and wife in the house of the appellant for about a year and a half and two children were born out of the said marriage. It is the case of respondent No.2 that on the instigation of the first wife, the appellant started mental and physical torture and made demands of dowry and respondent No.2 had to ultimately go back to her parents’ house. It may be noticed that during this period that respondent No.2 conceived for the second time. It is not necessary to go into more details but suffice to say that the alleged demand of dowry resulted in PCR No.310 of 2006 being lodged in the Court of Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (for short ‘SDJM’), Pakur for offences under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In the proceedings dated 09.08.2021, learned counsel submitted on behalf of the appellant that he was willing to pay compensation of Rs.3.00 lakhs to respondent No.2 for herself and the children and requested for about six months’ time to raise the money. Learned counsel submitted that the police 4 authorities had verified from respondent No.2 and she was agreeable to receive the compensation of Rs.3.00 lakhs. Further, on compensation being paid, she had agreed that if the sentence of the appellant is reduced and/or if he is granted the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act, she has no objection.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. it was of the opinion that “In view of the submission made by the petitioner on 09.08.2021 requesting for six months’ time to make arrangement to deposit/pay the amount, we direct that the appellant shall deposit with the trial court the amount of Rs.3.00 lakh on or before 28.2.2022 and subject to the deposit, the period of sentence undergone shall be treated as the sentenced period. The above-mentioned amount of Rs.3.00 lakh shall be apart from the requirement of paying fine of Rs.10,000/- directed by the trial court. We, however, make it clear that if the amounts are not deposited, the appellant will have to undergo the remaining part of the sentence of 3 years.”

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