M.S. Jamdar, J.
1. The State has preferred all these appeals under section 377(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code for enhancing the sentence inflicted on the respondent for the offence under section 67(1)(a) of the Bombay Prohibition Act.
2. The respondent was charge-sheeted for the aforesaid offence for being in possession of adulterated denatured spirit. The respondent pleaded guilty and prayed for mercy on the ground that he is poor, jobless, on many occasions was led to starve and hence was forced to indulge in the alleged activity on account of sheer helplessness. The learned trial Magistrate accepted the plea of the accused as voluntary and found the reasons given by the respondent in support of his plea for mercy, genuine and constituted special and adequate reasons for reducing the sentence below the minimum prescribed by the Act. He, therefore, sentenced the respondent to suffer S.I. for one day and to pay a fine of Rs. 15/- in default to suffer S.I. for five days, in each of the cases.
3. No doubt, the learned Magistrate has stretched the principle 'justice must be tempered with mercy' a little too far. But the reasons given by him for reducing the sentences below the minimum prescribed by the proviso to section 67(1)(a) are relevant and are quite adequate and special. It is clear that the respondent was jobless and had no alternative but to starve. It appears that poverty drove the respondent to commit the offence, rigor of which is much reduced in view of the liberalisation of the prohibition policy. There is, therefore, no justification for interfering with the sentence inflicted on the respondent in each of the cases.
4. In the result, the State appeals stand dismissed.