Sunder Mahto & Ors. Vs. State of Bihar  INSC 1634 (7 October 2009)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL No.503
OF 2003 RAM SUNDER MAHTO & ORS. ... Appellant(s) Versus STATE OF BIHAR ...
This appeal is filed by the four accused persons who have been
convicted for the offence punishable under Section 395, Indian Penal Code (in
short 'IPC') and have been sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for five
years. Considering their identification in the test identification parade and
the evidence led before the trial court, the trial court convicted 11 persons
out of 14 accused persons and awarded life sentence for their offence. These 11
accused persons having appealed before the High Court, the High Court allowed
the appeal of five persons namely Panchu Mahto, Bilas Baitha, Thaga Mahto, Deo
Narain Mahto and Ganeshi Mahto and acquitted them. The High Court took the view
that they being very old, they should be sentenced only to suffer rigorous
imprisonment which they had already -2- undergone. Two other accused were let
off on undergone sentence.
dismissal of the appeal, these accused persons were taken into custody and
remained behind bars for about one year. Learned counsel for the appellant
argues before us that the loot was relatively insignificant as it was only of
Rs. 2860/- cash, one lota and one glass. It is also pointed out that now the
accused persons namely Ram Sunder Mahto, Ram Lagan Mahto, Bindeshwar Mahto and
Ram Ekbal Mahto are 78, 73, 68 and 58 years of age respectively .
Considering the overall circumstance, we are of the opinion that
the accused persons deserves lienent treatment. In that, we have considered
that the 28 years have already elapsed since the offence took place and the
accused persons are suffering for all those 28 years. It was pointed out before
us by the State counsel that during the course of the dacoity two persons have
been injured and have suffered injuries by fire-arm. However, we are informed
that the person who had handled fire-arm though was convicted has not filed any
appeal, i.e. Arun Kumar Singh, the original A-2.
the evidence we find that all these accused persons might have been present
during the dacoity but have not caused any injury to any witnesses. In that
view of the matter we reduce the sentence which has -3- been awarded by the
High court to that of three years.
With this modification, the appeal is dismissed. The bail bonds of
the accused appellants are cancelled. The appellants are directed to surrender
within two weeks from today to serve out the remaining sentence failing which
the non-bailable warrants shall be issued against them by the concerned court
for their arrest.
....................J. (DEEPAK VERMA)
October 07, 2009.