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VARGHESE v. STATE OF KERALA - Crl Rev Pet No. 33 of 1998  RD-KL 2150 (29 November 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAMCrl Rev Pet No. 33 of 1998()
1. STATE OF KERALA
For Petitioner :SRI.P.CHANDY JOSEPH
For Respondent :PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
The Hon'ble the Chief Justice MR.V.K.BALI
O R D E RV.K.Bali,C.J. Crl.R.P.No.33 of 1998-A
Dated, this the 29th day of November, 2006
ORDERV.K.Bali, C.J. (Oral) The petitioner was tried for offences under Sections 27 (1)(d)(g) and (2)(c) of the Kerala Forest Act. Vide order dated 8th December, 1995 passed by the Judicial Magistrate of the First Class-I, Thodupuzha, the petitioner has been held guilty under Section 27(1)(d) and sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for four months and acquitted of the offences under Sections 27 (1)(g) and 2(c) of the Act. On appeal even though the conviction of the petitioner under Section 27(1)(d) of the Act was maintained, sentence was reduced to simple imprisonment for fifteen days, vide order dated 17th November, 1997 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Thodupuzha. It is against these two orders that the present revision has been filed.
2. The allegation against the petitioner was that on 30.8.1991, he had criminally trespassed into the Reserve Forest at Maniparakanam bhagam in Churuli beat within the Nagarampara Reserve, cut down a Venga tree costing about Rs.600/-, thus, causing a loss of Rs.900/- to the Government. Crl.R.P.33 of 1998 - 2 -
3. Without joining issues on the merits of the case, learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the occurrence pertains to the year 1991 and in the manner aforesaid, the petitioner has suffered a protracted trial spanned over a period of more than 15 years and, therefore, the petitioner may not be sent to serve a jail term at this stage.
4. This Court finds considerable merit in the contention of the learned counsel as made above and is of the view that ends of justice would be served if the petitioner, instead of serving a jail term, be asked to pay fine. In the circumstances of the case, thus, the Court orders that the petitioner would pay a fine of Rs.1,500/= (Rupees one thousand and five hundred only) within two months from today and would not serve the jail term at this stage. In case fine is not paid, the petitioner would serve the sentence recorded by Additional Sessions Judge, Thodupuzha. The Criminal Revision Petition is disposed of as indicated above. V.K.Bali Chief Justice vku/-
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