Baljinder Singh @
Bittu Vs. State of Punjab
O R D E R
T.S. THAKUR, J.
appeal arises out of an order dated 5th October, 2010 passed by the High Court
of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh whereby the appellant has been convicted
and 1sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of -four years and
a fine of Rs.5,000/- for an offence punishable under Section 326 of the Indian
Penal Code and rigorous imprisonment for two years with a fine of Rs.2,000/- for
an offence punishable under Section 324 IPC.
the special leave petition came up for admission on 11th April, 2011 notice to
the respondent was issued by this Court only on the question of sentence
awarded to the appellant. We have, accordingly heard learned counsel for the parties
on the quantum of sentence awarded to the appellant and perused the record.
incident in question is said to have taken place as early as in July, 1994. The
genesis of the occurrence has no element of premeditation or other criminal overtones.
It arose out of what was according to the prosecution an unintended and innocuous
straying of the complainant's cart into the paddy field of Natha Singh, father of
Bhupinder Singh and Baljinder Singh, the appellant. The brothers were enraged by
what they thought was a trespass into the field owned by them and their father.
They caught hold of and beat Kulwinder Singh the complainant, owner of the cart
who received two knife blows on the front of his right chest and a blow in the scapular
Bhupinder Singh was also alleged to have given a fist blow at the back of
Kulwinder Singh. The incident was witnessed by Bachan Singh PW-2 and Sukhchain
Singh who intervened to prevent any further injury to any one of them. At the trial
the prosecution adduced evidence that comprised among others the depositions of
Kulwinder Singh, PW-1, Bachan Singh, PW 2 and Dr. K.K. Sharma, PW-3. Relying
upon the deposition of the said witnesses, the trial Court found both the
accused guilty of the offences under Sections 324 and 326 IPC and sentenced the
appellant to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of four year and two
years apart from payment of fine of Rs.5,000/- and Rs.2,000/- respectively for offences
punishable under Sections 326 and 324 IPC respectively. In so far as Bhupinder
Singh was concerned, the trial Court sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for
3a period of three years under Section 326 read with Section 34 IPC and
rigorous imprisonment for one year under -Section 324 read with Section 34 IPC
apart from payment of Rs.2,000/- for the former and Rs.1,000/- for the later offence.
High court on an appeal filed by the accused, acquitted Bhupinder Singh giving
him the benefit of doubt but maintained the sentence awarded to the appellant.
The High Court found that while Dr. Rattanjit Singh, DW-1 had deposed and certified
the appellant having suffered three injuries, one of which sustained on the left
side of the forehead was reported to be a grievous injury, in the absence of any
x-ray examination and in the absence of any analysis of the cut sustained by the
appellant, the injury had to be treated to be a superficial one only.
The fact that the incident
had resulted in injuries to both the parties is all the same evident from the
material on record. Superadded to that is the fact that incident took place because
of a sudden fight. The nature of the injuries inflicted, the absence of any criminal
antecedents of the accused appellant, and the period that has elapsed since the
occurrence, all call for a suitable alteration in the -sentence awarded to the appellant.
We are further of the opinion that while the sentence could be reduced from
four years rigorous imprisonment to two years rigorous imprisonment for the offence
under Section 326 IPC, the amount of fine could be increased from Rs.5,000/- to
The sentence and fine
under Section 324 IPC will, however, remain unaltered. Having regard to the nature
of the injuries sustained by Kulwinder Singh the medical expenses that he would
have incurred in connection with the treatment of those injuries, we consider it
just and proper to award Rs.50,000/- out of the fine amount as compensation under
Section 357 of Cr.P.C. to Kulwinder Singh the victim of the assault. The above modification
would in our view serve the ends of justice.
the result, we allow this appeal but only in part and to the extent that the sentence
awarded to the appellant under Section 326 IPC shall stand reduced from four
years rigorous imprisonment to two years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.50,000/-.
In the event of default in payment of fine, the appellant shall suffer rigorous
-imprisonment for a further period for one year. The sentence of imprisonment and
fine awarded to the appellant under Section 324 is, however, maintained. We further
direct that in case the fine amount is recovered from the appellant, a sum of Rs.50,000/-
shall be paid to Kulwinder Singh as compensation under Section 357 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure.