Case BriefsForeign Courts

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: A Division Bench of K.K. Wickremasinghe and Devika Abeyratne, JJ., allowed a Revision Application which was filed in order to set aside the order of the High Court Judge of Kandy and impose an appropriate sentence.

The prosecutrix was aged 12 years at the time of the commission of the alleged offence committed by her biological father and he was booked under two charges first one being Section 364 (3) of the Penal Code amended by Act no. 22 of 1995 and secondly under Section 365 B (2) b of the Penal Code amended by Act No. 22 of 1995. When the charges were being read out the accused-respondent had pleaded not guilty and later before the conclusion of evidence he had pleaded guilty to both charges. Accordingly, the High court had imposed 1-year rigorous imprisonment suspended for 20 years and a fine of Rs 10,000 for both the charges each. He was also ordered to give Rs 2,00,000 to the prosecutrix as compensation.

The Counsel for the petitioner, Chathuri Wijesuriya had submitted various grounds as exceptional circumstances which warranted exercising revisionary jurisdiction the Court which included Lawful sentence to be imposed as per the amended Penal Code, Applicability of SC Appeal No. 17 of 2013 and factors to be considered while determining a sentence.

The Court relied on a number of landmark Judgments as of The Attorney General v. H.N. de Silva, 57 NLR 121; Attorney General v. Jinak Sri Uluwaduge, [1995] 1 Sri LR 157; The Attorney General v. Mendis, [1995] 1 Sri LR 138 and concluded that the accused-respondent should have been given deterrent punishment. The Court while allowing the Revision Application stated that the Respondent had committed the grave crime with proper pre-planning to his own daughter thus the sentence imposed by the High Court was grossly inadequate. The Court further modified the sentence making the imprisonment of 15 years in the first charge and 7 years in the second charge respectively. [Attorney General v. Hewaduragedara Nilantha Dilruksha Kumara, CA (PHC) APN: 01 of 2017, decided on 26-08-2020]

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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Ujjal Bhuyan, J., while deciding a writ petition, modified the order of the Joint Charity Commissioner whereby the question as to whether there is a delay in filing the related revision application was kept open, to be decided along with the revision application.

The petitioners were resisting the maintainability of a revision application filed by one of the respondents in a certain matter regarding the appointment of one of the petitioners in the petitioner’s Trust. They contended that the revision application was filed belatedly, i.e., after the expiry of the period of limitation. The Joint Charity Commissioner, before whom the matter was placed, rejected the petitioner’s application at that stage and observed that point of the delay was kept open to be decided along with the main revision application. Aggrieved thereby, the petitioners approached the High Court.

The Court noted that the revision application filed by the respondent before the Joint Charity Commissioner was under Section 70-A of the Maharashtra Public Trust Act, 1950. Under Section 70-A, the Charity Commissioner may invoke the jurisdiction in any of the cases mentioned in Section 70. While under Section 70 limitation period is prescribed, for invoking jurisdiction under Section 70-A in any of the cases mentioned in Section 70, no limitation period is prescribed. It was observed by the Court that whether revisional jurisdiction under Section 70-A has been invoked within a reasonable time or not would have to be decided in the facts and circumstances of each case having regard to the  60 days limitation period prescribed for filing an appeal under Section 70.

The High Court then noted that in respect of a provision where the limitation period is prescribed, if an appeal etc., is filed beyond such limitation period then it has to be accompanied by an application for condonation of delay. Only after the delay is condoned, the appeal, etc., can be taken up for consideration on merits. Before condonation of delay, the appellate authority would have no jurisdiction to hear the appeal on merits.

In such view of the matter, the order of the Joint Charity Commissioner was modified and he was directed to first decide whether the revision application is within a reasonable time. However, for dealing with the above aspect, it would be not necessary to have separate proceedings, a common proceeding will suffice, but the point relating to whether the revision application has been filed within a reasonable period or not has to be decided first. If the decision is in the negative, proceeding further with the revision application would not be necessary. However, if the answer is in the affirmative then the revision application would have to be decided on its merits. [Subir Kumar Banerjee v. Neetu Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 6609, decided on 20-12-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. disposed of the revision petition saying that the Court did not find any ground to condone such delay of over eleven years as there was absolutely no explanation that came from the petitioners.

The petitioners approached the Court under Sections 397 and 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, challenging the judgment dated 11-09-2006 passed in Criminal Appeal No. 41 of 2004, by the Additional Sessions Judge, FTC-II, Khagaria which upheld the judgment passed by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Khagaria in GR No. 726 of 1996.

The limitation for filing the present Revision Application had expired on 10-12-2006. The limitation was not condoned though the application was admitted for hearing as the application was filed defect free. The learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that being labourers, they had gone out of the State to earn their livelihood as the case filed was under bailable sections. The Counsel for the petitioners submitted that due to local rivalry, they have been falsely implicated and that the injuries were simple in nature.

After considering the averments made in the Interlocutory Application, the Court found that there was absolutely no explanation for such unexplained and inordinate delay of over 11 years except the fact that the case was filed under bailable sections, and under the garb of such reasoning the petitioners had gone outside the State for earning their livelihood and did not know about the present case and only after warrant was issued on 08.02.2018, they had taken steps for filing the present revision application.

The Court further held that the petitioners after lodging of the case had gone outside the State and had no knowledge about further proceeding is patently false, for the reason, that after the conviction, an appeal was filed on their behalf which has also stood dismissed. Thus, the conduct of the petitioners denotes sheer casualness on their part.

The Court found that the judgment passed by the trial Court as well as the Appellate Court was sound, and based on properly appreciated evidence. Thus, it does not find any ground to exercise its revisional jurisdiction. However, after taking into account the fact that the dispute arose due to grazing of cattle and the injury suffered was simple in nature, the Court held that since the petitioners had already undergone incarceration for over five months, the sentence needed to be modified.

In view of the above-noted facts, the instant petition was disposed of accordingly without interfering with the order of conviction but modifying the sentence of imprisonment to the period already undergone. [Bhagwan Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1490, decided on 29-08-2019]