Question of sentence is a matter of discretion to be exercised on consideration of circumstances

Chhattisgarh High Court: In a criminal appeal filed before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Arvind Singh Chandel, J., the sentence awarded to the appellants-accused under Section 304 IPC was restricted to the period already undergone by them.
The appellants were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years along with payment of fine by the trial court for the offence committed under Section 304 IPC. Counsel appearing for the appellants submitted that the record did not show that the injury caused to the deceased was caused by the appellants. Further, the appellants were facing the litigation for nearly 16 years; they had already undergone the sentence for 20 months. The counsel prayed that the sentence imposed on the appellants may be restricted to the period already undergone by them. Counsel for the State supported the order of the trial court.
In order to solve the controversy, the High Court referred to a Supreme Court decision passed in Ravinder Singh v. State of Haryana, (2015) 11 SCC 588, wherein it was observed that the question of sentence is always a difficult task requiring balancing of various considerations; it is a matter of discretion to be exercised on consideration of circumstances aggravating and mitigating in individual cases. In the instant case, the High Court found that at the time of the occurrence of incident, the appellants were about 25 years of age and now they are about 40 years of age. They were facing litigation for about last 16 years and they had no criminal antecedents. Court was of the view that it would be in the interest of justice to reduce the sentence of appellants to the period already undergone by them.
Thus, the High Court ordered accordingly and also enhanced the amount of fine imposed on the appellants which was directed to be distributed among the legal representatives of the deceased. [Guddu alias Ram Prasad v. State of Chhattisgarh,  2018 SCC OnLine Chh 155, dated 21-02-2018]

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