Undue leniency in awarding sentence needs to be avoided, says Supreme Court [Read Judgment]

Undue leniency in awarding sentence needs to be avoided, says Supreme Court [Read Judgment]

Supreme Court, in State of M.P. vs. Udaibhan, has observed that undue leniency in awarding sentence needs to be avoided because it does not have the necessary effect of being a deterrent for the accused and does not re-assure the society that the offender has been properly dealt with.

Apex Court Bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh was hearing the Appeal filed by the State against the Judgment of Madhya Pradesh High Court wherein it reduced the sentence imposed by Trial Court for imprisonment which was R.I. for 10 years for the offence punishable under Section 307 as well as Section 307 read with Section 34 of the IPC to a period already undergone by the respondents which was of one year and nine months only.

The Bench observed that there was hardly any mitigating circumstance to take such a lenient view as has been done by the High Court. The Court further observed that it is the duty of the Court awarding sentence to ensure justice to both the parties and therefore undue leniency in awarding sentence needs to be avoided because it does not have the necessary effect of being a deterrent for the accused and does not re-assure the society that the offender has been properly dealt with. It is not a very healthy situation to leave the injured and complainant side thoroughly dissatisfied with a very lenient punishment to the accused. In the present case the order of punishment imposed by the High Court suffers from the vice of being over-lenient even in absence of any mitigating circumstance, the bench said.

The Court then modified the sentence imposed by High Court by imposing on all the three accused persons a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for three years in place of period already undergone, for the offence under Section 326 as well as Section 326/34 of the IPC.

Read the Judgment here.