Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. allowed an application for release on probation filed by a convict suffering imprisonment for offence under Sections 411 and 482 IPC.

The appellant was alleged to have robbed a car by forcibly removing its keys and a sum of Rs 50,000 from the pocket of the complainant by threatening him with a pistol on his stomach. Based on the evidence adduced by the prosecution, the trial court convicted the appellant as mentioned above. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant preferred the present appeal. During the pendency of the appeal, an application under Section 360 CrPC and Section 4 of Probation of Offenders Act was filed.

The appellant who was represented by D.D. Pandey and Rohit Gupta, Advocates, submitted that he was the sole bread earner of the family; had the responsibility of six minor children, wife and aged parents. The High Court called the probation officer’s report. The report revealed that appellant was a responsible person with no legal history to except the present case.

The High Court relied upon Rattan Lal v. State of Punjab, AIR 1965 SC 444 wherein the Supreme Court discussed the philosophy behind grant of probation. Further reference was made to Sitaram Paswan v. State of Bihar, (2005) 13 SCC 110, observe, “Court has to consider the circumstances of the case, nature of offence and character of the offender while exercising the power which is discretionary. Powers under Section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act vest with the Court when any person is found guilty of the offence committed, not punishable with death or imprisonment for life. This power can be exercised by the Court even at the appellate or revisional stage.” In the present case, after considering the nature of the offence, the character of the offender and report of the probation officer, the court was of the view that this was a fit case to extend the benefit of Section to the appellant. Therefore, while confirming the conviction of the appellant, the Court directed him to be released on probation subject to the conditions imposed. The appeal was disposed of in terms above. [Dilshad Ahmad v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2018 SCC OnLine Del 13081, dated 21-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Deciding an appeal against the sentence awarded by the trial court on ground of its inadequacy, a single judge bench of A.I.S. Cheema, J., has observed that while granting benefit of probation, courts shall ensure compliance of provisions of Probation of Offenders Act, and when probation is to be granted under Section 4 (1) of the Act, courts shall collect information by calling a report of the probation officer as contemplated by Section 4 (2) of the Act.

In the instant case, a bus driver who caused the death of a 13 year old boy by driving at high speed in a congested area, was convicted under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The trial court, however instead of passing a sentence of imprisonment or fine, directed his release on the bond of Rs.5000 and the bond of one month’s period as contemplated in Section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act. The  Court observed that neither the trial court has called any report as contemplated under Section 4 (2) of the Act, nor did it pass any supervising order under Section 4(3) of the Act. The court also found that the record didn’t demonstrate that any bond as mentioned in the operative order was ever taken, and thus quashed the order for non-compliance of law. Justice Cheema further admonished the lenient approach of the trial court for granting probation on the grounds that the convict was a retired military man and the fact that it was a first incident while absolutely ignoring the plight of victims.

The court thus sentenced the convict a simple imprisonment till rising of the Court and directed him to pay compensation of Rs.40,000/- to the deceased’s father, taking into account his old age and low retirement income. The court also recommended the District Legal Services Authority, Jalgaon to decide the quantum of further compensation to be paid to the deceased’s father by the state since it was responsible for congestion and chaos in streets in which citizens are put to constant risks. [State of Maharashtra v. Madhav Vitthal Bansode, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 2297, decided on 25. 04. 2016]