C.J.R. Paul, J.
1. These three appeals are by the State represented by the learned Public Prosecutor for enhancement of the sentence meted out to the accused who was convicted by the learned III Additional Special Judge, Madras. Division, in three cases, of offences under Section 5(1)(c) read with Section Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and sentenced to imprisonment till the rising of the Court for those offences. It was on his own admission and plea that the accused was convicted as aforesaid by the learned Judge, who has accepted his plea of guilt.
2. The learned Public Prosecutor contends that considering the circumstances of the case the sentences meted out to the accused are extremely lenient and are actually not warranted. I am in entire agreement with the learned Public Prosecutor. For an offence under Section 5(1)(c) read with Section 2(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the minimum sentence prescribed is rigorous imprisonment for one year. The proviso to that section says that the Court may, for any special reasons recorded in writing, impose a sentence of imprisonment of less than one year. In this case the reasons given by the learned Special Judge for the very lenient sentence which he meted out to the accused are that the accused has paid back to the bank the entire sum of Rs. 1,50,683 misappropriated by him even long before the charge-sheet was filed and had readily admitted the offences and deeply lamented for the same; and further the accused was aged about 41 years and would also lose his job. But then, considering the circumstances of the case, I do not think that these reasons would validly support such a lenient punishment as has been meted out to the accused.
3. The Supreme Court has in B.C. Goswami v. Delhi Administration : 1974CriLJ243 , observed as follows:
Now the question of sentence is always a difficult question, requiring as it does, proper adjustment and balancing of various considerations which weigh with a judicial mind in determining its appropriate quantum in a given case. The main purpose of the sentence broadly stated is that the accused must realise that he has committed an act which is not only harmful to the society of which he forms an integral part but is also harmful to his own future, both as a member of the society. Punishment is designed to protect society by deterring potential offenders as also by preventing the guilty party from repeating the offence; it is also designed to reform the offender and reclaim him as a law abiding citizen for the good of the society as a whole. Reformatory, deterrent and punitive aspects of punishment, thus play their due part in judicial thinking while determining this question In modern civilised societies, however, reformatory aspect is being given somewhat greater importance. Too lenient as well as too harsh sentences both lose their efficaciousness. One does not deter and the other may frustrate thereby making the offender a hardened criminal.
Imposition of such lenient sentences as those for offences like these, does not serve any purpose. The sentence loses its efficaciousness as a deterrent sentence if it is too lenient. Therefore I have to deprecate in this case the very lenient sentence meted out to the accused and I would have had no hesitation in enhancing the sentence but for the fact that from the year 1974 the accused has been undergoing the agony of these criminal proceedings. Considering the long lapse of time that has occurred between the conviction of the accused and this date nearly four years, I feel that while deprecating the lenient punishment meted out to the accused by the learned Special Judge and while stating in unequivocal terms that this Court in such cases will not hesitate to interfere, it is not necessary to send the accused to jail by imposing on him any substantive term of imprisonment. But in vindication of the principles which I have mentioned above, I feel that the accused should be sentenced to pay fine in addition to the sentence of imprisonment till the raising of the Court imposed by the trial Court. I sentence him to pay a fine of Rs. 50 in each of these cases, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for two weeks in addition to the sentence of imprisonment till the rising of the Court imposed by the trial Court Time for payment one month.