Tripura High Court on Monday, dismissed the appeal filed by Congress legislator of Tripura, Birajit Sinha, against his convicted by the Trial Court for offence committed under Arms Act. A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice S Talapatra held that, under the Arms Act, a licensee could not carry more than 12 rounds at any given time and Mr.Sinha was, admittedly having 17 with him. However, the High Court also dismissed the appeal filed by State seeking enhancement of punishment.
This case is related to a violent political scuffle between supporters of rival political parties of the state which resulted in death of one person. The trial court had acquitted and others for the IPC offences and the High Court has upheld that acquittal today. The appellant was convicted of an offence under Arms Act and the conviction was upheld by the High Court. The state had preferred appeal before the High Court against these acquittals and quantum of sentence imposed on the appellant for the conviction under the Arms act.
The High Court dismissed the appeal against acquittal (IPC offences) of Birajit Sinha and said “Defective investigation by itself, delay in lodging the FIR by itself, improper seizure by itself may not be a ground for acquittal but when in one case all the above factors are present and there is the additional very important factor of a GD entry being destroyed and another GD entry being fabricated, benefit will have to go to the accused especially when there are two rival political fractions and the accused belongs to a political party which is opposing the ruling dispensation in the State. “
Dismissing the appeal filed by state against the lesser quantum of sentence imposed, the court held “, we do not see any reason for the State to waste money and time to file such an appeal. It is not a case of murder or rape where even the minimum sentence is not imposed or the person has been let off very lightly that the State should file an appeal.”
However, the plea of Congress legislator to reduce the sentence was also turned down by the High Court which said “Birajit Sinha is a member of the legislative assembly. He is a law maker and he is expected to know the law. Therefore, we see no reason to take a more lenient view in the matter and we are not inclined to reduce the sentence at all”.
Read the Judgment here.