Considering the age of the appellant/accused at the time of offence, non-involvement in any other criminal case, and his conduct in jail during incarceration the substantive sentence imposed upon the appellant/accused is reduced to the period already undergone by him was upheld by the High Court Of Delhi through the learned bench led by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE CHANDRA DHARI SINGH in the case of LAXMAN @ LUCKY Vs STATE (CRL.A. 321/2016 & CRL.M (BAIL) No. 385/2020) on 04th March, 2022.
Brief facts of the case are that the instant FIR bearing No. 18/2015 was registered on the written complaint lodged by the complainant/father of the victim. As per the FIR complainant’s son aged about 10 years disclosed him that on the very same day at about 4:00 P.M the Appellant/Accused took him to Nala (Drainage area), Near DESU Colony, Rana Pratap Bagh, Delhi and committed sodomy (unnatural sexual act) and threatened him not to tell the incident to anybody otherwise he would kill him. On the said complaint instant FIR was lodged and the Appellant/Accused was arrested on the same day, i.e., on 5 th January, 2015. The learned ASJ vide impugned judgment dated 15th January 2016, has convicted the Appellant/Accused for the offences punishable under Sections 323/506(II)/377 of the IPC and Section 6 of POCSO Act. Hence, the appellant filed instant criminal appeal assailing the impugned judgment and order on sentence on the ground of validity, propriety and legality.
The learned counsel for the Appellant/Accused submitted that there is delay in lodging the FIR as the incident of sodomy happened on 15th August, 2014, however, the present complaint was lodged on 5th January 2015. There is no medical report of the victim on record showing any sodomy. It was further submitted that the father of victim had himself denied medical examination of his son. The victim mentioned in his statements that the Appellant/Accused committed sodomy on him multiple times near the drainage area, however, there is not a single witness to prove that whether such incident had ever happened.
The learned APP for the State has submitted that the evidence on record squarely proved that victim was minor at the time of commission of crime; the appellant has committed sodomy on the victim; and all prosecution witnesses, exhibited documents and other circumstantial evidence(s) have proved the case of the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, the findings of the Trial Court do not warrant any interference.
The Court observed “In view of his age, mitigating factors referred above and considering the age of the appellant/accused at the time of offence, non-involvement in any other criminal case, and his conduct in jail during incarceration, this court is of the opinion that the interest of justice would met if the substantive sentence imposed upon the appellant/accused is reduced to the period already undergone by him.”
The Court held that the criminal appeal filed by the appellant/accused is allowed in part. Consequently, the judgment dated 15th January, 2016 passed by the learned ASJ, holding the appellant/accused guilty is upheld; however, the order on sentence dated 28th January, 2016 is modified to the sentence for the period already undergone by the appellant.
Written by- Riya Singh, Legal Intern, Prime Legal