The Supreme Court reduced the sentence awarded to a man accused of attempt to murder taking note of the amicable settlement between the accused and the victim.
The bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka noted that in earlier judgments, the court has taken note of the compromise between the parties to reduce the sentence of the convicts even in serious non-compoundable offences.
In this case, the Trial Court had convicted the accused under Section 307 Indian Penal Code and directed him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000/-. This judgment was upheld the High Court dismissing the appeal.
Before the Apex Court, a joint affidavit was filed in which the accused stated that he has apologized for his fault and has taken responsibility for his action and sought forgiveness from the victim. In return, the victim has also voluntarily accepted the apology while considering the age of the appellant at the time of the incident and has forgiven him and has come forward without any reservation to settle the dispute, the court noted. The bench observed:
11. In almost the same circumstances which have been noticed by us, a three Judge Bench of this Court in a recent judgment in Murali Vs. State represented by Inspector of Police , where the parties decided to forgive their past and live amicably, this Court has come to their rescue by interfering in the quantum of sentence which obviously is not compoundable under Section 320 Cr.P.C. but has interfered since there is no minimum sentence prescribed. This Court in Murali(supra), has taken note of the judgment of this Court in Ram Pujan and Others Vs. State of U.P. which was followed by this Court in Ishwar Singh Vs. State of M.P. and the later decisions as referred to in paras 11 and 12 of the judgment has taken note of the compromise between the parties to reduce the sentence of the convicts even in serious non-compoundable offences.
The bench observed that this is a fit case to take a sympathetic view and reconsider the quantum of sentence awarded to the accused.
"13. The joint affidavit inspires confidence that the apology as tendered by the appellant has voluntarily been accepted given the efflux of time and is not a result of any coercion or inducement. Considering that they are residing in the same village and are peacefully residing after the uncalled for incident has taken place, in our view, this appears to be a fit case for reduction of sentence.", the court said.
The court therefore reduced the quantum of sentence imposed on the accused to five years rigorous imprisonment.
Case: Sy. Azhar Sy. Kalandar vs. State of Maharashtra ; CrA 988 OF 2021Citation: LL 2021 SC 451Coram: Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka