Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a recent appeal before the High Court, the appellant had appealed for reduction of quantum of sentence awarded by the trial court. As per the order of trial court, he had to undergo a rigorous imprisonment of 7 years under S. 366-A and 363 IPC that is, for procuration of a minor girl and kidnapping. It is to be noted that at the time of incident in 2015, the girl was fifteen-and-a-half years old.
The Court examined the records of witnesses as well as the judgment of the trial court, but found that none of the evidence or witnesses indicated towards the innocence of the convict. Also, the learned counsel on behalf of the appellant had not prayed against the conviction on merits, but had only prayed for reduction of quantum of sentence.
The Court therefore decided to dismiss the appeal in the terms of conviction. However, Ritu Bahri, J. decided to take a lenient view on the quantum of punishment and also decided to consider the fact that the appellant has been facing the agony of a criminal trial for the last more than 1½ years and as per custody certificate, he had undergone 01 year, 02 months and 28 days in custody. The main reason given by the Court for reducing the sentence was that now the prosecutrix was happily married with the convict. [Harpreet Singh v. State of Punjab, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 1694, decided on 04.05.2017]