@ Gopal Chandra & Anr Vs. State of Bihar  Insc 60 (2 February 2001)
C. Banerjee & Doraiswamy Raju.
D E R
this matter, notice was also issued for enhancement of the sentence, having due
regard to the gravity of the offence. The contextual facts depict that the
appellants were charged pursuant to the complaint, filed by one Amita Bhatt, a
resident of a refugee colony in Champaran District, that she was raped by the
appellants in the night when her husband was away. Learned Sessions Judge while
dealing with the matter on the basis of the overwhelming materials available on
record, convicted the appellants herein under Section 376 I.P.C. and sentenced
them to rigorous imprisonment for 5 years. On appeal, however, the learned
Single Judge of the High Court, though found no merit in the appeal, but
reduced the sentence to three years imprisonment on the ground that the
occurrence is of the year 1983 and the same is sufficient to meet the ends of
justice. It was in this context that this court was pleased to entertain the
SLP and to issue notice therein, subject to the proposal for enhancement enhancement
of punishment as noticed above.
hearing the learned counsel on either side, we also do record our concurrence
of the finding of the High Court that there is no merit in the appeal. As such,
the appeal is dismissed.
regards the sentence, we regret to observe that despite having found no merits
in the appeal the High Court should have interfere with the quantum by reducing
the sentence to three years merely for the reason of lapse of time due to pendency
of proceedings at various stages particularly, High Court awaiting disposal of
facts of the matter under consideration when the offence charged is a serious
one against an helpless woman by committing a social evil, the question of
showing any further leniency to the accused does not and cannot arise.
reduction of sentence thus made by the High Court of the sentence imposed by
the Trial Court which itself is found to be on the lenient side, stands set
aside and quashed and the sentence imposed by the trial court stands restored.
The Authorities will take steps to ensure that the accused undergoes the
balance of sentence.