This revision has been directed against the order of conviction and sentence recorded by Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Mahendergarh, dated 5th of December, 1985, vide which the petitioners were held guilty under Sections 143/147/324/325/326/149 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to undergo R.I. for one Year and to pay a fine of Rs. 100/- each and in default of payment of fine to undergo R.I. for a period of one month under Section 324/149 Indian Penal Code. They were further sentenced to undergo R.I. for a period of two years and a fine of Rs. 150/- each and in default of payment of fine to further undergo R.I. for two months under Section 325/149 Indian Penal Code. They were also sentenced to undergo R.I. for a period of three years and a fine of Rs. 200/- in default of payment of fine to further undergo R.I. for three months under Section 326/34. They were sentenced to undergo S.I. for three months under Section 143 Indian Penal Code and six months S.I. under Section 147 Indian Penal Code. All the sentences were, however, ordered to run concurrently. Being aggrieved, the petitioners preferred an appeal against the order of conviction and sentence which, however, met with no success as the same came to be dismissed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Narnaul, vide orders dated 12th of January, 1988.2. Inasmuch as it is only question of sentence and reduction thereof that has been mooted in this case. There is no need to give detailed facts of the case, suffice it, however, to state that the petitioners were challaned under Sections 323, 324, 325, 326, 147 and 148 of the Indian Penal Code vide F.I.R. No. 51 dated 25th of June, 1980, which came to be recorded on the statement of Chokh Ram. It has been the, prosecution version that Chokh Ram and his brother Chhailu Ram reside in village Bhura for the last 10-15 years. Chhailu Ram has his plot adjoining the house of the petitioner Bhura Ram. On that plot Bhura Ram petitioner has made a fence of bushes and forcibly occupied the same. Chhailu asked Bhura Ram so many times to vacate the premises and in this regard meeting of the panchayat was also held in which Bhura Ram promised that he will vacate the plot within three days. On 24th of June, 1980 at about 8 AM when Chhailu Ram told Bhura Ram that three days have since passed and therefore, he should vacate the plot, Bhura Ram, in presence of Chunni Lal son of Ramji Lal, Maru Ram, Natha Ram son of Nanda, Ahir and Jagdish son of Ramjit, immediately went to his house and took out an axe and gave a Kulhari blow on the head on right side of Chokh Ram. He gave another Kulhari blow to Chhailu Ram on his forehead and he yet gave another Kulhari blow to Chhailu Ram on his head which hit him on left side. In the meantime, petitioners Munshi, Laxman, Attar singh and Dharmpal who were armed with lathies and Jailies came there and gave injuries to Chokh Ram with their respective weapons. It requires to be mentioned here that in the scuffle that ensued Bhura Ram petitioner suffered five injuries. One of the injuries suffered by Bhura Ram petitioner was on the scalp.3. The learned Counsel for the petitioners vehemently contends that it is not a case where the complainant may be innocent altogether as the petitioner Bhura Ram also suffered five injuries on his person one of which was on the vital part of his body. According to him, it was a case of free fight. However, what is being seriously contended before me is that the occurrence pertains to the year 1980 and a period of two decades have gone by. All the petitioners are first offenders and have undergone a protracted trial for twenty long years. Each of them has undergone a sentence of about 2 months and ends of justice would be met if their sentence on all counts is reduced to the period already undergone by them. For his aforesaid contention he relies upon the judgment of this Court in Sawinder Singh v. State of Punjab, [2000(1) All India Criminal Law Reporter 597 (Pb. & Hry.)]. The sentence of the petitioner in the said case was reduced to the period already undergone by him although he was held guilty under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code.4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, this Court is of the view that the contention of the learned counsel with regard to reduction of sentence has to be accepted. As mentioned above, twenty years have gone by. Certainly, the petitioners have undergone an agony of protracted trial spanned over 20 years and it would not be in the interest of justice at this stage that they undergo the sentence imposed by the Courts below. They are first offenders and, a
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s mentioned above, Bhura Ram petitioner sustained five injuries and one of which was on vital part of his body.5. In view of what has been said above, while upholding the conviction of the petitioners recorded by the Courts below, their sentence is reduced to the period already undergone by them. They shall, however, pay the fine imposed upon them by the Courts below and will suffer the conveyances for non-payment of the same as mentioned by the Courts below.6. This revision is partly allowed as indicated above.