2 Sep 2022 7:30 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has upheld a trial court order imposing a sentence less than the minimum punishment prescribed under Section 27(d) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, noting that the accused had entered into a plea bargain under Section 265-B of CrPC and had accepted his guilt.It dismissed an appeal filed by the state government seeking enhancement of the sentence.Section...
The Karnataka High Court has upheld a trial court order imposing a sentence less than the minimum punishment prescribed under Section 27(d) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, noting that the accused had entered into a plea bargain under Section 265-B of CrPC and had accepted his guilt.
It dismissed an appeal filed by the state government seeking enhancement of the sentence.
Section 27(d) prescribes imprisonment for a term not less than one year but which may extend to two years and with fine and not less than Rs.20,000/-. However, the Court may record adequate or special reasons in the judgment in order to impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than one year.
In the instant case, the respondent was accused of unauthorizedly selling scheduled drugs. The trial court convicted him under Section 18(a)(vi) of the Act read with Rule 65(2) and Rule 65(3)(1) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 back in 2015. He was sentenced under Section 27(d) to undergo a day's imprisonment, till the rising of the Court.
The first appellate court had dismissed State's appeal following which, it approached the High Court.
The High Court Govt Pleader argued that both the Courts below have not assigned any reasons for imposing inadequate sentence.
However, a single judge bench of Justice K Somashekar observed,
"When the parties had mutually come forward seeking 'plea bargaining' in order to close the criminal prosecution case in terms of the issues emerged in between them for violation of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the Trial Court had accepted the application filed by the respondent / accused and extended plea bargaining benefit, which was also approved by the complainant / State who was represented by the Assistant Public Prosecutor in view of the fact that the accused had pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/- and to undergo imprisonment for one day till the rising of the Court."
It then held, "Therefore, in this petition, it does not arise to call for interference the said judgments of the Trial Court as well as the First Appellate Court since there are no warranting circumstances which arise to call for interference. In view of the aforesaid reasons."
Case Title: The State of Karnataka v. S.B. Shivashankar
Case No: CRIMINAL REVISION PETITION NO.775 OF 2018
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 345
Date of Order: 2ND DAY OF AUGUST, 2022
Appearance: HCGP Rashmi Jadhav for appellant; Advocate Madhu R for Advocate K. Prasanna Shetty for respondent
Click Here To Read/Download Order