of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Rameshwar  Insc 61 (25 January 2005)
N Santosh Hegde & S B Sinha
out of SLP (Crl.) No.1691/2004) SANTOSH HEGDE, J.
learned counsel for the parties.
is yet another case of gross indiscretion on the part of the High Court in
reducing the sentence imposed by the trial court in a heinous crime.
respondent herein was convicted by the Special and Second Additional Judge, Chhindwara,
Madhya Pradesh, for an offence punishable under section 366 IPC and was
sentenced to undergo RI for a period of 4 years and to pay a fine of Rs.500/-;
in default of payment of fine to undergo further period of 3 months' RI. The
respondent challenged the said conviction and sentence before the High Court of
Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur and the High Court by the impugned
order while confirming the finding of conviction recorded by the Sessions Court
for an offence punishable under section 366 IPC, reduced the sentence of
imprisonment to a period already undergone while maintaining the sentence of
reason recorded by the High Court for reducing the sentence is that the
respondent has already suffered the sentence of imprisonment for a period of 1
month and 3 days, and that he at the time of commission of offence was an
uneducated labourer from rural area and was aged 21 years. While doing so, the
High Court did not take into consideration that under the Act the offence is
punishable up to 10 years' RI and the Sessions Court while considering the
quantum of punishment had noted that the at the time of kidnapping, the victim
was approximately 16 years of age and that she was seduced and kidnapped by the
respondent by promising her to marry and in those circumstances after recording
reasons that the offence in question was a serious one in that the appellant
had sexually exploited a young girl of 16 years and thereafter deserted her,
hence awarded the sentence of 4 years' RI which itself in our opinion was
then the High Court without considering the gravamen of the offence and the
ignominy to which the victim has been put to with misplaced generosity/sympathy
which has an everlasting adverse effect on her future, has unreasonably reduced
the sentence to a period already undergone which is one month and 3 days. In
our opinion this is a ridiculously low sentence, totally disproportionate to
the crime committed by the respondent.
notice that the conviction recorded by the Sessions Court is not challenged by
the appellant before the High Court nor is it challenged before this Court.
Therefore, the question of our going into the validity of the conviction does
the reasons stated above, we allow this appeal, set aside the order of the High
Court reducing the sentence, and restore the sentence awarded by the Sessions
Court. We direct the respondent to surrender and serve out the sentence awarded
by the Sessions Court.