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Emperor Vs. P.R.S. Muthia Chetti - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in33Ind.Cas.638
AppellantEmperor
RespondentP.R.S. Muthia Chetti
Excerpt:
penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 211 - offence by wealthy man aged 65 years--punishment--age, how far to be taken into account in passing sentence. - .....imprisonment, then, i think, the amount of the fine should be so determined as to inflict on the accused a punishment comparable with what he would suffer had he been a younger man. in the present case the accused gives his own means at a lakh of rupees; and i doubt exceedingly whether to such a man a fine of even rs. 1,000 for an offence of this kind would be likely to exercise much deterrent influence. i agree with the learned sessions judge that the sentence imposed is quite inadequate. but i should hesitate, in the face of what is on record from the joint magistrate regarding the man's age, to press for a substantive sentence of imprisonment and having recorded my opinion on the matter, i do not think the case is one in which it is my duty to necessitate a reference to a third.....
Judgment:

Abdur Rahim, J.

1. The accused in this case is a Nattukottai Chetty; and as stated by himself, be is a fairly well-to-do man. He has been sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000 for an offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code. The finding is that he brought a false charge against some persons and those persons have been acquitted. The Magistrate, taking into consideration the age of the accused who is said to be about 65 years and, I take it, also the circumstances of the case, held that the line imposed would be sufficient punishment. It may be that I might have thought that the accused deserved a somewhat severer punishment, if I had tried the case originally. But I am not inclined in revision to interfere with the discretion of the Magistrate and to enhance the sentence.

Ayling, J.

2. The accused in this case, a wealthy Nattukottai Chetti, brought a maliciously false charge of rioting against a man, who is proved to have been in Burma at the time of the alleged offence. He has been convicted of an offence under Section 211, Indian Penal Code, and fined Rs. 1,000. The offence is one of those offences which have been, and should in my opinion ordinarily be, punished with a substantive sentence of imprisonment. In this case, the Magistrate has recorded, as his reason for refraining from doing so, the fact that the accused was an old man of 65 and presumably for that reason unfit to undergo imprisonment even of the simple description. That no doubt is a factor to be taken into consideration in deciding the nature of the sentence. But if for that reason the Magistrate deems it fit to impose a sentence of fine instead of imprisonment, then, I think, the amount of the fine should be so determined as to inflict on the accused a punishment comparable with what he would suffer had he been a younger man. In the present case the accused gives his own means at a lakh of rupees; and I doubt exceedingly whether to such a man a fine of even Rs. 1,000 for an offence of this kind would be likely to exercise much deterrent influence. I agree with the learned Sessions Judge that the sentence imposed is quite inadequate. But I should hesitate, in the face of what is on record from the Joint Magistrate regarding the man's age, to press for a substantive sentence of imprisonment and having recorded my opinion on the matter, I do not think the case is one in which it is my duty to necessitate a reference to a third Judge, namely, regarding the amount of fine. I, therefore, agree that no action should be taken in the matter.


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