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Uday Singh Vs. State of W.B [1994] INSC 175 (15 March 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (2) 495

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. Mr A. Bhattacharjee, Advocate takes notice for respondent.

2. Leave granted.

3. The appellant was convicted for an offence under Section 25(1) of the Arms Act, 1959, for short the Act. The trial court awarded to the appellant a minimum sentence of two years' imprisonment. It was confirmed by the High Court. Thus this appeal by special leave.

4. This Court issued notice on 21-2-1994 limiting to the question of sentence. The learned counsel for the appellant placing reliance on Nasru v.

496 State of U.P.1 has stated that the appellant's sentence may be reduced to the period already undergone. According to the learned counsel, the appellant had already undergone 15 months' imprisonment and is also entitled to the remissions.

Section 25(1) of the Act postulates that :

"25. Punishment for certain offences.- (1) Whoever- (a) manufactures, sells, transfers, converts, repairs, tests or proves, or exposes or offers for the sale or transfer, or has in his possession for sale, transfer, conversion, repair, test or proof, any arms, or ammunition in contravention of Section 5; or (b) shortens the barrel of a firearm or converts an imitation firearm into a firearm in contravention of Section 6; or (c) (d) brings into, or takes out of, India, any arms or ammunition of any class or description in contravention of Section 11, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine."

5. It is thus clear that on conviction under Section 25(1) of the Act the legislative mandate is that minimum sentence of two years (later amended to 3 years) has been insisted and therefore is to be adhered to. No doubt this Court in Nasru case] on the facts therein had reduced the period of sentence to one year which he had already undergone. But in view of the legislative amendment that a minimum sentence of not less than two years shall be awarded to the convict, we cannot reduce the sentence to a period less than the minimum prescribed by the statute. Under these circumstances, we find it difficult to accede to the contention raised by the learned counsel for the appellant.

6. Though the request was made to permit the appellant to be released on parole, we cannot give any such direction at this stage. It is open to him to make such application as is available in law and the authorities, we are sure, would consider and dispose it of, according to the rules.

7. The appeal is accordingly dismissed.

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