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Rameshwar Dayal Vs. State of U.P. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 168 of 1969
Judge
Reported in(1971)3SCC924
ActsU.P. Pradeshik Armed Constabulary Act, 1948 - Section 6(a)
AppellantRameshwar Dayal
RespondentState of U.P.
DispositionAppeal Allowed
Excerpt:
- [ m. hidayatullah, c.j.,; a.n. ray and; i.d. dua, jj.] -- sentence — unequal sentence for identical offence — relief granted. -- the prosecution case had been accepted that they deserted service. unfortunately the two cases were tried before two different sessions judges. the present appellant received 7 years' rigorous imprisonment and the other accused was sentenced to 4 years' rigorous imprisonment. they both appealed and unfortunately again, the appeals came before different judges in the high court. one learned judge reduced the sentence of 7 years' to 4 years' and the other learned judge reduced the sentence of 4 years' to three months......sentence of 7 years' to 4 years' and the other learned judge reduced the sentence of 4 years' to three months. this shows how the question of sentences awarded in a crime may be viewed differently by different judges, a problem which has never been solved satisfactorily so far. however, the two cases being identical, it looks somewhat odd that one of the accused should be sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment while another who committed the identical offence and in the like circumstances should be sentenced to three months' imprisonment. we must do something to make the punishment even in these two cases. we are told that the appellant in this case has undergone imprisonment for nearly ten months and we think it would be enough to say that the appropriate sentence in his case is the.....
Judgment:

M. HIDAYATULLAH, C.J.

1. This appeal has been admitted only on the question of sentence by this Court in somewhat unusual circumstances. Two members of the Police Armed Constabulary who had joined very recently and who were only trainee recruits, wished to go to their village and applied for leave on the ground that their wives were ill. This was their defence. The finding is that they did not apply but deserted their post and therefore committed an offence under Section 6(a) of the U.P. Pradeshik Armed Constabulary Act, 1948. The prosecution case had been accepted that they deserted service. Unfortunately the two cases were tried before two different Sessions Judges. Although the offences were the same, the defences were also the same and the facts were absolutely the same, the sentences passed on their conviction were widely different. The present appellant received 7 years' rigorous imprisonment and the other accused was sentenced to 4 years' rigorous imprisonment. They both appealed and unfortunately again, the appeals came before different Judges in the High Court. One learned Judge reduced the sentence of 7 years' to 4 years' and the other learned Judge reduced the sentence of 4 years' to three months. This shows how the question of sentences awarded in a crime may be viewed differently by different Judges, a problem which has never been solved satisfactorily so far. However, the two cases being identical, it looks somewhat odd that one of the accused should be sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment while another who committed the identical offence and in the like circumstances should be sentenced to three months' imprisonment. We must do something to make the punishment even in these two cases. We are told that the appellant in this case has undergone imprisonment for nearly ten months and we think it would be enough to say that the appropriate sentence in his case is the period of imprisonment already undergone by him. The appeal is allowed to this extent.


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