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Friday, January 26, 2018

proper appreciation of entire prosecution evidence - the High Court convicted four accused persons under Section 325 read with section 34 IPC and not under Section 307 IPC. In other words, in the opinion of the High Court, no case was made out under Section 307 IPC, but it was essentially a case of a "grievous hurt" falling under Section 325 IPC.- So far as the awarding of sentence for an offence punishable under Section 325 read with Section 34 IPC is concerned, the High Court was of the opinion that the respondents have already undergone some reasonable length of jail sentence as under-trials and the same, in our opinion, appears to be sufficient. It is more so because, in addition, a fine of Rs.50,000/- was also awarded. This would meet the ends of justice.

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 REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1676 OF 2009
Subhash Chander Bansal ... Appellant
Versus
Gian Chand and Ors. ... Respondents
J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1. This appeal is filed by the Complainant against
the final judgment and order dated 04.05.2007
passed by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at
Chandigarh in Criminal Revision No. 174 of 1999 by
which the High Court dismissed the criminal
revision filed by the appellant herein.
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2. In order to dispose of the appeal, few relevant
facts need mention hereinbelow.
3. Respondent Nos. 1 to 5 (five accused persons)
were prosecuted under Sections 307/325/148/149
of the Indian Penal Code,1908 (hereinafter referred
to as ‘IPC’) for causing injuries to two persons
namely, Om Prakash and Ravinder Kumar, with
Hockey at around 7.15 p.m. on 29.07.1988. The
prosecution was initiated against the respondents
on the basis of FIR No. 128 dated 03.08.1988
lodged by the appellant herein, who is the son of
Om Prakash (since dead).
4. The Trial Court, by order dated 14.11.1998
acquitted all the five accused persons (respondent
Nos. 1 to 5 herein).
5. The State, being aggrieved by the order of
acquitting the respondents, filed criminal appeal
being Criminal Appeal No.494-DB of 1999 before
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the High Court of Punjab & Haryana whereas the
complainant filed a Criminal Revision No. 174 of
1999 against the order of the acquittal.
6. The High Court, by the impugned judgment,
allowed the State's appeal in part and convicted the
four accused persons namely, Gian Chand, Krishan
Kumar, Lachhman Dass and Bhagwan Dass
(respondent Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5) under Section 325
read with Section 34 IPC and upheld the acquittal of
one accused person, namely, Suresh Kumar -
respondent No. 4 by giving him benefit of doubt.
The operative part of judgment of the High Court
reads as under:
“In the above circumstances, acquittal
of the respondents cannot be justified.
However, having regard to the submission
made on behalf of Suresh Kumar, we consider
it safe to give him benefit of doubt and acquit
him but we do not find any valid ground to
uphold acquittal of other accused.
Accordingly we convict accused Gian
Chand, Krishan Kumar, Lachhman Dass and
Bhagwan Dass under sections 325/34 IPC but
having regard to long lapse of time since the
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date of occurrence, we award sentence for
the period of imprisonment already
undergone by them, apart from awarding
compensation of Rs.50,000/- to be shared
equally by PW3 Subhash Chander and PW4
Virender Kumar. It has been noticed that
Om Parkash, injured has already died. The
four convicted accused will pay Rs.12,500/-
each. …………….”
7. The complainant, being aggrieved by the
judgment of the High Court, has filed this appeal by
way of special leave in this Court. The State has not
filed any appeal.
8. Therefore, the short question that arises for
consideration in this appeal is whether the High
Court having convicted the four accused persons
under Section 325 read with Section 34 IPC was
justified in imposing the sentence that was already
undergone by them and by imposing a fine of
Rs.50,000/- to be paid equally by the four convicted
accused persons.
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9. Having heard the learned counsel for the
parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we
find no merit in the appeal. In our opinion, the
High Court was right and hence the impugned
judgment does not call for any interference.
10. In the first place, the High Court convicted
four accused persons under Section 325 read with
section 34 IPC and not under Section 307 IPC. In
other words, in the opinion of the High Court, no
case was made out under Section 307 IPC, but it
was essentially a case of a "grievous hurt" falling
under Section 325 IPC.
11. This finding of the High Court, in our opinion,
is based on proper appreciation of entire
prosecution evidence and we do not find any reason
to disturb it for convicting the respondents under
Section 325 IPC instead of Section 307 IPC.
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12. So far as the awarding of sentence for an
offence punishable under Section 325 read with
Section 34 IPC is concerned, the High Court was of
the opinion that the respondents have already
undergone some reasonable length of jail sentence
as under-trials and the same, in our opinion,
appears to be sufficient. It is more so because, in
addition, a fine of Rs.50,000/- was also awarded.
This would meet the ends of justice.
13. Having examined this issue, we find no reason
to interfere on this issue too for the following
reasons.
14. Firstly, the incident in question occurred as far
back as in 1988, whereas we are now in 2018. In
between this period, 30 years have elapsed.
Secondly, in the meantime, one injured also
expired. Thirdly, the injured were duly compensated
with the amount of fine of Rs.50,000/-. The
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quantum of fine awarded in 1988 or so appears to
be just and reasonable. Moreover, it is the sole
discretion of the Trial Court and, in this case, the
High Court to decide the quantum of fine amount.
15. Taking into account all these facts, which have
emerged from the facts of the case, we find no
reason to take a different view from that of the High
Court, which does not call for any interference in
this appeal.
16. The appeal thus fails and is accordingly
dismissed.

………………………………..J
(R.K. Agrawal)
………………………………J.
(Abhay Manohar Sapre)
New Delhi,
January 25, 2018

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