Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab & Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Jaishree Thakur J., addressed an appeal challenging the judgment of the lower court in regard to the reduction of sentence.

The brief facts of the case state that the appellant was a convict under Sections 366 & 376 of IPC, for committing the rape of a 6 year old child. On recording of the statements of the accused under 313 CrPC all the allegations on his part were denied and he pleaded innocence. Appellant was acquitted earlier by the session’s court. However, on appeal, the matter was remanded back by the High Court after setting aside appellant’s acquittal. And thereafter, he was convicted as aforesaid.

The Learned Counsel for appellant by placing reliance on the various precedents submitted that his Right of speedy trial under Article 21 of the Constitution of India grants him the leniency and reduction of sentence awarded as he already has faced trial for 25 years.

However, the Hon’ble High Court on observing the above said facts and circumstances and the instance of cases given by the learned counsel for appellant in reference to the reduction of sentence, stated that “Rape” is a heinous offence which along with physical scars impact the mental well-being of the child equally and in a huge extent and manner. While stating the above-mentioned contentions of the appellant, Court also focused on a case of State of Rajasthan v. Vinod Kumar, 2012(6) SCC 770, in this case also reduction of sentence was demanded for an offence of rape and the accused was granted reduction of the sentence, though the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that “deciding the case in such a casual manner reduces the criminal justice delivery system to mockery.”

Therefore, keeping a sight of all the stated contentions and instances placed upon, the High Court dismissed the appeal of the convict finding no merits on the defence that he had put forward as the fact that the victim a 6 year old child was raped, the award of sentence of 10 years was rightly imposed in accordance to Section 376(2)(f) IPC. [Inder Sain  v. State of Punjab;2018 SCC OnLine P&H 797; dated 04-05-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The petition challenging the order of reduction in pay scale and stopping of increment was allowed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Mohit Kumar Shah, J.

The petitioner who worked as a Junior Engineer in the Rural Construction Department was subjected to an enquiry for delinquency in inspection of a construction project. In furtherance of the enquiry so conducted, the pay of the petitioner was reduced to the lowest stage and his increments were also stopped. The said order which was passed on 14.10.2006 was set aside by the High Court in an appeal preferred by the petitioner. Thereafter, another order was passed by the respondents dated 31.3.2016 which was in same terms as the earlier order. This order was challenged by the petitioner in the instant petition.

The High Court considered the record and found that the impugned order was in violation of the terms of Bihar Service Rules as the order did not provide any time frame for the reduction of pay scale. Further, the order proposed to inflict punishment on the petitioner with a retrospective effect, and that could not be allowed. The Court held it to be a settled law that an order of punishment can never be retrospective and it always has to be prospective. Therefore, the Court held that the impugned order was liable to be set aside which was ordered accordingly. [Raj Kishore Sinha v. State of Bihar, 2018 SCC OnLine Pat 825, 18-05-2018]

Case Briefs

Jammu & Kashmir  High Court: The Jammu Bench of the J&K HC  heard a petition by a retired J&K Police officer who, based on his 34-year experience, approached the Court to draw its attention towards the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013, which is similar to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of the Children) Act enacted for the rest of India to lay down guidelines for treatment of minor offenders. This Act was amended by Parliament in 2016, reducing the age of juvenility from 18 to 16 in cases of heinous crimes. But no corresponding amendment was made to the J&K Act, as the State, due to its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution adopts laws enacted by Parliament of India only after due ratification by the State legislative assembly.

The petitioner contended that there is no scientific study to show that offenders aged under 18 years have no knowledge of the consequences of the crime, and over his career, he has observed the rise in juvenile crime and has studied the ideologies of such offenders. The petitioner has challenged the constitutionality of Sections 2(m), 2(m), and 21 of the J&K JJ Act as they are in contravention of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and endanger the society as a whole.

To this, the respondent answered that though the Court cannot issue a writ of mandamus to the State Government to bring about an amendment, it can direct it to consider doing so. The petitioner and the Bench agreed, keeping in reference the case of A.K. Roy v. Union of India, (1982) 1 SCC 271. Accordingly, the Court directed the State Government to consider decreasing the age of juvenility and take requisite steps. [Farooq Khan v. State,  2018 SCC OnLine J&K 270, order dated 01.05.2018]