The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction of three men for attempting to murder three judges by hurling bricks at their official car in 2012.
Justice Mukta Gupta, however, modified the sentence awarded to the three convicts—Rohit (five years), Anil Raj (five years) and Prashant Kumar (period already undergone).
The then judges in Saket district court - Ajay Garg, MK Nagpal and Inderjeet Singh – were attacked by four persons in May, 2012, when the judges were headed to Faridabad. Two of the accused, on a bike, attacked the rear window of the judges’ bike near Dakshinpuri in south Delhi.
According to the allegations, on seeing the “judge” sticker on the car, the duo called two more people to attack them. All of them then began hurling bricks at the car, breaking the glass windows and injuring the judges. While three of them faced trial, one was declared a proclaimed offender.
The appellants had now challenged the judgment passed in May last year, when they were awarded 10-year jail term. They had been held guilty of offences, including attempt to murder and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The order noted that while the counsel for the appellant made a “feeble” attempt to attack the judgment of conviction, the case against them had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The counsel then advocated for reduction in the sentence awarded to them, asserting that rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years was “highly disproportionate”.
Accepting this contention, the court observed, “Nature of injuries on the four victims have been opined to be simple. Weapon of offence used were portions of bricks for pelting and that in the process Anil Raj also suffered an injury. Further two of the appellants have no previous conviction, though Anil Raj had two previous cases under Section 323 IPC which FIRs have since been compounded, thus this Court deems it fit to modify the order on sentence.”
The sentence awarded to Anil Raj and Rohit was then modified to rigorous imprisonment for a period of five years. As for Prashant, the court noted that he was not present at the time when the incident took place and that he joined the appellants subsequently. Considering the role attributed to him, his sentence was modified to the period already undergone by him.
The appeals were then disposed of.
Rohit was represented by Advocates Ajay Verma and Vineet Malhotra. Anil Raj and Prashant were represented by Advocate Sugam Puri. Additional Public Prosecutor Ashok Kr. Garg appeared for the State of NCT of Delhi.
Responding to the verdict, Advocate Puri told LiveLaw, “The ld. Trial court was extremely harsh towards the appellants in its order on sentence and did not appreciate key points brought forth by the defence. We greatly appreciate the wisdom of the Hon'ble high court to acknowledge the simplicity of the injuries and the severity of the sentence imposed.
“As regards to the appellant Prashant, he always stood at a different footing as there was no direct allegation against him and had reached the spot of the incident after considerable time. His sentence was rightly reduced to the period undergone which was just a little over 3 years.”
Read the Order Here