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Sohan Kumar Kenwat vs State Of Chhattisgarh on 9 December, 2017

NAFR
HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH, BILASPUR

Criminal Appeal No.1003 of 2008

• Sohan Kumar Kenwat, aged about 25 years, Son of Shri Patiram
Kenwat, R/o Village- Navapara, Thana – Chandrapur, Tehsil- Sakti,
Distt – Janjgeer- Champa (CG)
—- Appellant
Versus
• State of Chhattisgarh, through Police Station Chandrapur, district-
Janjgeer-Champa (CG)
—-Respondent
——————————————————————————————
For Appellant : Mr. Roop Naik, Advocate
For Respondent/State : Shri Suryakant Mishra, Panel Lawyer

——————————————————————————————

Hon’ble Shri Justice Sharad Kumar Gupta
Judgment on Board

09.12.2017

1) In this Criminal Appeal, the challenge is levied to the

judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 03.10.2008

passed by the learned Session Judge, Janjgir-Champa (CG), in

Sessions Trial No.59 of 2008, whereby and whereunder the

appellant has been convicted for the offence punishable under

Section 354 of the IPC and sentenced to undergo RI for six months

and to pay fine of Rs.500/-; in default of payment of fine amount, to

further undergo Simple Imprisonment for one month.

2) In brief, the prosecution case is that the prosecutrix lived in

village Nawapara. She was going to the pond to fetch water. The

appellant was standing on the road. In an intention to breach her
cra 1003 of 2008

2

modesty, the appellant caught hold of her hand. On 24.01.2008,

the prosecutrix lodged a report in Police Station, Chandrapur. The

trial Court has examined as many as ten witnesses and on

completion of the trial, convicted and sentenced the appellant as

aforementioned.

3) Shri Roop Naik, counsel for the appellant urged at this stage

that he is not challenging the conviction of the appellant, rather, he

is challenging only the aforesaid period of sentence of rigorous

imprisonment. He further submits that appellant has already spent

his sentence for 2 months and 12 days, thus the period of rigorous

imprisonment may be reduced upto the period undergone.

4) Shri Suryakant Mishra, Panel Lawyer for the State urged that

the said sentence imposed upon the appellant is just and proper

and does not call for any interference.

5) In para-13 of judgment of the Division Bench of Madhya

Pradesh High Court in Govinda Others v. State of M.P. {2006

(2) CGLJ 10} has observed as under:-

“13. Thus, after considering the totality of the facts and
circumstances of the case, we partly allow this appeal,
set aside the conviction under Section 302/34 IPC and
instead, convict the appellants under Section 326/34
IPC. Conviction of the appellants under Sections
325/34 and 323 of IPC is affirmed. The fine amount so
imposed by the Trial Court is also affirmed. So far as
the jail sentence is concerned, the appellants have
already suffered jail sentence of more than two and
half years, which appears to be just and proper,
cra 1003 of 2008

3

therefore, they are entitled to be released on
undergone jail sentence.”

6) In Manjappa v. State of Karnataka {(2007) 6 SCC 231}

Hon’ble Supreme Court dealing with the case wherein applicant

was sentenced by the High Court under Section 325 IPC for simple

imprisonment for 1½ months and fine Rs. 1000/- with stipulation

clause, held in para-14 as under :-

“14. At the same time, however, the fact remains that
the High Court has reduced substantive sentence to a
month and a half. It is also not in dispute that the
appellant has undergone and has remained in custody
for about fifteen days. Moreover, as on today, he is on
bail. Hence, even though we are of the view that in the
facts and circumstances of the case, provisions of
Section 360 read with Section 361 of the Code are not
attracted and Om Prakash1 does not help the
appellant, it would not be appropriate now to direct the
appellant to surrender and to suffer the remaining
sentence for about a month. The incident is of 1997
and about 10 years have passed. ”

7) In SPS Rathore v. Central Bureau of Investigation and

Another {(2017) 5 SCC 817} while dealing the punishment under

Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code Hon’ble Supreme Court held

in paragraph 55 as under :-

“55. With regard to sentence of the appellant-accused,
learned Senior Counsel on his behalf has pointed out
certain mitigating factors which are – old age of the
appellant-accused, health ailments, responsibility of

1
(2001) 10 SCC 477: 2003 SCC (Cri) 799
cra 1003 of 2008

4

looking after the unmarried daughter suffering from
congenital heart disease, past meritorious service and
prolonged trial. Keeping in view the aforementioned
factors especially the old age and physical condition of
the appellant-accused, we do not think it expedient to
put him back in jail. While we uphold the findings as to
the guilt of the appellant-accused, we are of the opinion
that the cause of justice would be best sub-served
when the sentence of the appellant-accused would be
altered to the period already undergone. We, therefore,
reduce the sentence of the appellant to the period
already undergone by him as a special case
considering his very advanced age.”

8) Considering the above mentioned observations, this Court

finds that at the time of the incident no minimum imprisonment was

provided for the offence punishable under Section 354, IPC. The

incident happened on 22.01.2008 i.e. around 10 years back. Now

the appellant is near about 35 year old. He has spent around 2

months and 12 days in jail. Now he is in the mainstream of society.

Sending him again to jail would disturb his as well as his family

members’ life. Hence, no useful purpose would be served. I am of

the opinion that the cause of justice would be best subserved when

the rigorous imprisonment of six months to the appellant would be

altered to the period already undergone.

9) Therefore, it is ordered that the rigorous imprisonment of six

months under Sections 354, IPC awarded to the appellant shall be

reduced to the period already undergone by him. However, the

imposed fine of Rs. 500/- is enhanced upto Rs. 3,000/-. Appellant
cra 1003 of 2008

5

should deposit remaining part of fine before the trial Court within a

period of two months from the receipt of this judgment. The

prosecutrix will get this additional amount of fine Rs. 2500/-

(Rupees Two Thousand Five Hundred only) as compensation.

10) Consequently, the appeal is partly allowed. The bail bond of

the appellant should be discharged subject to the provisions

contained in Section 437-A of the Cr.P.C.

Sd/-

(Sharad Kumar G upta)
                 Judge

padma/kishore

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