& Ors Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh  INSC 774 (1 May 2008)
B.N. AGRAWAL & G.S. SINGHVI & AFTAB ALAM
O R D E R CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.4 OF 2005 Heard learned counsel for the
Six appellants, along with accused Dularey, were convicted by the Trial
Court under Section 304 Part-II/149 of the Indian Penal Code [hereinafter
referred to as "I.P.C."] and sentenced to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for a period of ten years. They were further convicted under
Sections 147 and 148 I.P.C. but no separate sentence was awarded on any of
these counts. Convictions have been confirmed by the High Court on appeal being
preferred by the accused persons. So far as accused Dularey is concerned, it
appears that he did not move this Court whereas this appeal by special leave
has been filed by the remaining six accused persons.
Conviction of the appellants is based upon the evidence of Roop Lal (P.W.1)
and Satrohan (P.W.2), who claimed to be eye-witnesses. These two witnesses have
consistently supported the prosecution case and no infirmity could be pointed
out therein. In our view, the High Court was quite justified in confirming the
convictions of the appellants.
...2/- - 2 - Turning now to the sentence awarded against the appellants, the
maximum sentence under Section 304 Part-II I.P.C. that could have been awarded
is ten years.
So far as appellants, other than Ram Shankar @ Shankari is concerned, they
have remained in custody for a period of more than four years. Ram Shankar @
Shankari, Appellant No.4, has remained in custody for a period of two years and
he is more than seventy seven years' old. In the facts and circumstances of the
case, we are of the view that ends of justice would be met in case the sentence
of imprisonment awarded against the appellants is reduced to the period already
undergone and each one of them is directed to pay fine of Rupees ten thousand.
Accordingly, the appeal is allowed in-part and, while upholding the convictions
of the appellants, the sentence of imprisonment awarded against them is reduced
to the period already undergone and each one of them is directed to pay fine of
Rupees ten thousand; in default, to undergo further imprisonment for a period
of one year. The fine, if realised, shall be paid to the complainant. All the
accused persons, except Ram Shankar @ Shankari, Appellant No.4, are directed to
be released forthwith, if not required in connection with any other case.
Ram Shankar @ Shankari, Appellant No.4, who is on bail, is discharged from
the liability of bail bonds.