HC reduces sentence of convict says quantum of punishment can be reduced in case of ‘peculiar facts’

HC reduces sentence of convict says quantum of punishment can be reduced in case of ‘peculiar facts’

This post is written by Jayant Kashyap

Bombay high court reduced the sentence of the convict who was found guilty and sentenced for an attempt to murder by the trial court. The high court maintained the conviction, however, modified the sentence saying “Having regard to the peculiar facts that, it was a dispute in between two brothers, the appellant is of advance age and is suffering from certain ailments, the quantum of punishment can be reduced to some extent” 

Facts

The incident took place in December 2018 due to subsisting issues of land disputes between two brothers. On the date of the incident, the informant went to his cattle shed and found that it was locked, the informant called the village Panchas and broke open the lock. Later that day the informant sat near the temple where the appellant started attacking him with slaps and blows and later stabbed him with a knife causing multiple bleeding injuries to the informant. The complaint registered by the local police under section 307 of IPC. The matter went to the trial court which found the appellant guilty of attempt to murder and sentenced 5 years of rigorous imprisonment based on the evidence and the testimony of multiple witnesses.

Appellant’s Plea

The appellant’s counsel submitted that the evidence on record was sketchy and the trial court erred drawing the conclusion solely based on such evidence further pointing out that all the eyewitnesses had turned hostile. The appellant side contended that the accused was wrongly convicted for attempted murder and at the most, the appellant could be guilty of causing hurt under section 324 of IPC. In addition to that, the counsel finally submitted that the appellant can be released on undergone punishment imposing certain additional fines towards compensation since it is a family matter between brothers.

Prosecution’s Reply

The prosecution supported the trial court’s judgment and submitted that the medical evidence, the informant’s un-impeached testimony along with the appellant’s motive to assault his younger brother inspires confidence in the trial court’s verdict. Mentioning multiple witness testimonies and medical records of the stab wounds the prosecution pleaded for confirmation of the trial court’s judgment and dismissal of the current appeal.

 The Court’s Decision

The court considering the appeal went through the medical reports of the doctor and medical officer examining the nature of the stab wounds finding the medical evidence were strongly corroborating the victim’s evidence and there was no doubt that the victim was assaulted by the appellant. The court discarded the appellant’s argument that the offense was not one of attempted murder but of hurt, the court stated: “under the charge of attempt to commit murder, intention and knowledge of the accuses is the prime consideration, apart from nature of the injury.” The court observed that the appellant dealt the first blow near the upper abdomen portion which shows the intention to cause death thus justifying the trial court’s conviction of the accused for attempted murder. The court upheld the conviction by the trial court, however, it modified the sentence from 5 years of rigorous imprisonment to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment with additional 6 months of simple imprisonment and an additional fine of Rs.20,000 to be made over to victim’s compensation. The court said “Having regard to the peculiar facts that, it was a dispute in between two brothers, the appellant is of advance age and is suffering from certain ailments, the quantum of punishment can be reduced to some extent by enhancing the compensation amount so as to adequately compensate the victim who had suffered a lot.”

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