Principle of Just Punishment the bedrock of sentencing in a criminal offence

Supreme Court: The bench comprising S.K. Mukhopadhaya and Ranjan Gogoi, JJ., referring to the decision in Gopal Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, (2013) 7 SCC 545 observed that principle of just punishment is the bedrock of sentencing in respect of a criminal offence. The wide discretion that is vested in the Courts in matters of sentencing must be exercised on rational parameters in the light of the totality of the facts of any given case. The doctrine of proportionality has to be invoked in the context of the facts in which the crime had been committed, the antecedents of the accused, the age of the accused and such other relevant factors. 

In the instant case the appellant was convicted under Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) which was altered by the Delhi High Court to one under Section 326 IPC (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) with the sentence modified to rigorous imprisonment for 2 yrs. Against the conviction the appeal was preferred to the Supreme Court.

The counsel for the appellant, Mohd. Hanif Rashid’s arguments mostly centered on the quantum of sentence awarded by the High Court contending on the basis of facts that the appellant should be sentenced under Section 324 IPC (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons and means). The State was represented by Mr Mohan Jain, Additional Solicitor General of the State. Since the facts had proved that the appellant had caused grievous injuries by repeated stabbing by knife, therefore the Court upheld the sentence passed by the High Court. Pritam Chauhan v. State (Govt. of NCT Delhi), Criminal Appeal NO. 1272 of 2014, decided on 01.07.2014

To read the full judgment, refer to SCCOnLine

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