Delay in decision of the appeal cannot be ground for reducing sentence: HC
Dismisses appeal against financial penalty in favour of widowed mother of slain boy
Srinagar: While dismissing an appeal against financial penalty in a case under Section 304 Part II of RPC (causing death of any person by any rash or negligent act), J&K High Court has ruled that mere protraction in trial or delay in decision of the appeal cannot be a ground for reducing the sentence.
An appeal was filed by one Nazir Ahmad Ganie, against a conviction under Section 304 Part II of RPC against the judgment of conviction in 2015 by Principal Sessions Judge, Pulwama.
Ganie, had been convicted of an offence under section 304 of RPC. He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years besides paying a fine of Rs one lakh. In default of payment of fine, the appellant had been directed to undergo further imprisonment of one year.
Justice Sanjay Dhar after hearing the appeal “analysed” the law, and said that it is clear that mere protraction in trial or delay in decision of the appeal cannot be a ground for reducing the sentence.
The reduction cannot be considered “particularly when during the pendency of the appeal, the appellant has been admitted to interim bail in terms of order dated 08.11.2016 and he continues to be on bail as on today”, he said.
The judge held that he did not find any ground to interfere in the impugned judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by the trial court.
“The appellant is directed to surrender before the trial court within a period of fifteen days from today and once the appellant surrenders before the trial court, he shall be sent to jail for serving the balance sentence.”
In case the appellant fails to surrender before the trial court within the aforesaid period, the trial court shall secure his presence through coercive measures and send him to jail for serving the balance sentence, ordered Justice Dhar.
Interestingly, during the course of hearing, S T Hussain, counsel for the appellant has submitted that the appellant does not intend to challenge the judgment of conviction passed by the trial court.
The appellant is only aggrieved of the quantum of sentence awarded by trial court against him, pleaded the lawyer.
The appellant, he said, “was a teacher working in a private school earning a meagre salary and, as such, it was not open to the learned trial court to impose a heavy penalty of Rs.1.00 lakh upon the appellant”.
Counsel appearing for the state contested the contentions raised. He submitted that the act of the appellant has resulted in the death of a young boy. Having regard to the gravity of the crime committed, the sentence awarded by the l trial court against the appellant does not deserve to be interfered with, he argued.
As per prosecution, on 16th August, 2011 at about 9.00 am, Danish Farooq alias Umar Farooq was on his way to school. He was attacked by the appellant Ganie and his other two accomplices with clubs, resulting in his instant death.
The appellant Ganie was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of seven years and was to pay a fine of Rs one lakh to the mother of the deceased, now widowed.