At, Supreme Court of India
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE J. CHELAMESWAR & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. ABDUL NAZEER
For the Appellant: C.N. Sree Kumar, Amit Sharma, Advocates. For the Respondent: Vipin Nair, P.B. Suresh, Abhay Pratap Singh, Advocates.
2. The appellant was convicted for the offences punishable under Section 324 of IPC vide order dated 28.02.2004 by the Additional Sessions Judge (Ad hoc)-1, Kottayam and sentenced to undergo
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rigorous imprisonment for three years and also to pay a fine ofL5000/- and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment for a further period of six months. The appellant challenged the said order in Criminal Appeal No.502 of 2004 before the High Court of Kerala. The High Court by its order dated 16.12.2014 while confirming the conviction modified the sentence by awarding three months of rigorous imprisonment and to pay fine ofRs.10,000/- and in default of payment of fine, to undergo simple imprisonment for a further period of three months.3. On 20.02.2017, this Court issued notice limited to the question whether the alternate punishment of fine would suffice the ends of justice and whether the punishment of imprisonment was justified in view of the fact that the appellant was found guilty of offence under Section 324 IPC committed almost 19 years back.4. We have heard learned counsel for the parties.5. The entire incident had occurred in the year 1998. As noticed above, the appellant was found guilty of the offence punishable under Section 324 I.P.C. It is not the case of the respondent that the appellant is involved in any other case. In the circumstances, we do not deem it necessary to send the appellant to jail custody after about 19 years of the occurrence of the incident. Keeping in mind the cumulative effect of the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, we are of the view that a modification of sentence imposed against the appellant is called for. Therefore, it is just and proper to sentence him to pay a fine ofRs.50,000/- and in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of three months. Therefore, while confirming the conviction of the appellant the sentence against the appellant stands modified. He is sentenced to pay fine ofRs.50,000/- and in default to undergo three months simple imprisonment.6. The appeal is accordingly allowed in part in the above terms.