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MAN SINGH v STATE - CRLA Case No. 207 of 2005  RD-RJ 2370 (1 May 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN
BENCH AT JAIPUR
S.B. Criminal Appeal No.207/2005
Man Singh S/o Phoolchand
The State of Rajasthan through the PP
Date of Judgment :::: 1st May, 2007
Hon'ble Mr. Justice Narendra Kumar Jain
Shri Biri Singh Sinsinwar with
Shri Harendra Singh and
Shri Kartar Singh, Counsel for accused-appellant
Shri B.N. Sandu, P.P., for the respondent State ####
By the Court:-
The matter was listed before this Court for orders on the Third Application for Suspension of
Sentence. However, on the request of learned counsel for both the parties, the appeal itself has been heard finally and being disposed of.
Accused Man Singh S/o Phoolchand has challenged the impugned judgment and order dated 24th February, 2005 passed by the Additional District & Sessions
Judge (Fast Track) No.3, Bharatpur, Camp Bayana
(Bharatpur) in Sessions Case No.16/2005 (23/2004), whereby he has been convicted and sentenced under
Section 376 (1) of the Indian Penal Code, to undergo 7 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.2,000/-
(Rupees two thousand); in default of payment of fine, // 2 // to further undergo three months additional rigorous imprisonment.
The learned counsel for the appellant argued the case on merits at length, but, during the course of arguments, he rightly did not press the appeal on merits in view of the statements of PW-7 Smt. Santosh
(Prosecutrix) and PW-2 Dr. Prithviraj Meena, and contended that the appellant has already remained in jail for about 3 years and 2 months, therefore, his sentence of imprisonment may be reduced to a period of imprisonment already undergone by him.
I have considered the submissions of learned counsel for both the parties and, in view of the fact that the order of conviction passed by the trial court has not been challenged by the learned counsel for the appellant and rightly so, I do not think it fit and proper to narrate and discuss the facts of the case.
So far as reduction of sentence of imprisonment is concerned, after considering all the facts and circumstances of the case, I find this case to be a fit one to reduce the sentence of imprisonment of the accused-appellant.
Under sub-section (1) of Section 376 IPC the minimum sentence of seven years is prescribed but it is subject to proviso that the court may, for adequate and special reasons, impose a sentence of imprisonment // 3 // for a term of less than seven years.
In Prem Chand Vs. State of Haryana, AIR 1989 SC 937, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of that case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court reduced the sentence of imprisonment of ten years awarded under Section 376
(2) IPC, to a period of sentence of imprisonment of five years. The State of Haryana filed review petition before Hon'ble the Supreme Court in the above case and the same was dismissed. The decision of the Hon'ble
Supreme Court in that review petition is reported in
(1990) 1 SCC 249 (State of Haryana v. Prem Chand &
In Ram Kumar Vs. State of Haryana (2006) 4
SCC 347, their Lordships of the Hon'ble Apex Court reduced the sentence of seven years under Section 376,
IPC, to a period of three years imprisonment. Para
No.3 of the judgment reads as under:-
"3. The appellant, aggrieved by the order passed by the
High Court has filed the above appeal by way of appeal. We have been taken through the statement and evidence recorded by the Court. Our attention was also drawn to the judgment passed by both the Sessions Court as well as the judgment passed by the
High Court. The learned counsel for the appellant drew our attention to the statement // 4 // of the girl Bimla (PW-5) and also drew our attention to the evidence of the doctor. We have carefully analysed the evidence tendered by the prosecution. In our opinion, sufficient evidence was tendered by the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused. However, at the time of hearing it is brought to our notice that the girl has now got married and living with her husband. The said statement is also ratified by the evidence of the father of the girl. Having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the sentence imposed by the
Sessions Court and as affirmed by the High Court under
Sections 366 and 376 of the
Penal Code is on the highside.
In our opinion, ends of justice would be amply met if we reduce the sentence to three years. We do so accordingly."
In the case of State of Chhattisgarh Vs.
(2006) 5 SCC 736
Lekhram the Hon'ble Apex Court reduced the minimum sentence under Section 376, IPC, of seven years to a sentence of one-and-half-year imprisonment, already undergone by accused therein.
Para 16 of the judgment reads as under:-
"16. The prosecutrix was a mature girl. She was married.
She spent a few months in her in-laws' place. The respondent // 5 // was working in her house.
They, thus, knew each other for a long time. The prosecution evidently could not prove its case that she was enticed away from the custody of her guardian by the respondent on a false plea that he would marry her. She denied the said suggestion as presumably she was aware that she being married, the question of her marrying the respondent again may not arise. She lived for some time with the respondent in a rented house. Both the courts proceeded on the basis that she was a consenting party.
The occurrence took place in the year 1986. The respondent preferred an appeal before the
High Court in the year 1987.
The same remained pending for about 10 years. The special leave petition was filed by the State 230 days after the prescribed period of limitation for preferring such appeal. The delay in filing the special leave petition, however, was condoned. He is said to have remained in custody for about one-and-a- half years. In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case and having regard to the facts that both the courts have arrived at the conclusion that she was a consenting party, in our opinion, it may not be proper to send the appellant back to prison."
After considering all the facts and circumstances of the present case as well as the above // 6 // referred judgments of the Hon'ble Apex Court, I think it fit and proper that ends of justice will meet in case the sentence of imprisonment passed by the trial court against the appellant is reduced to a period of 5 years rigorous imprisonment.
Consequently, the appeal is partly allowed. The conviction of the appellant passed by the trial court is upheld, but his sentence of imprisonment is reduced to a period of 5 years rigorous imprisonment.
(Narendra Kumar Jain) J. //Jaiman//
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