1. The appellants were convicted under Section 366, I. P.C., and sentenced No. 1 to one year's rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs. 150, and No. 2 to six months' rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs. 100. There was no order for compensation.
2. The appeal was admitted on the ground that the Court disapproved of the infliction of a fine in addition to a substantial term of imprisonment. The learned District Magistrate of Noakhali has reported this case under Section 439, Criminal P.C., to this Court because he considered the sentences passed by the Sessions Judge of Noakhali to be inadequate.
3. The facts are that the two accused took away a girl who was a young widow with a child and kept her shut up for nearly a week. She was kept in the house of appellant 1 and was properly attended to and was not molested either by him or by anybody else. The learned Sessions Judge had taken that fact; into consideration in making up his mind as to what should be the appropriate sentence. We do not find anything to criticize in the sentence of rigorous imprisonment which has been inflicted. The girl did not come to grief in any way; although it is true that she suffered some mental torture through being separated from her child, in our opinion the sentence is sufficient to meet that case. But we agree with our learned brothers who admitted this appeal that it is altogether inappropriate to add a fine to a substantial term of imprisonment. It is true that the Code sanctions either a term of imprisonment or a fine or both, and it was left to the discretion of the Court whether to indict a sentence of imprisonment or a fine or both. But in practice, it can only be in very exceptional circumstances that it is suitable and appropriate to inflict a fine as well as a substantial term of imprisonment. In English practice. I can hardly remember a case in which a substantial term of imprisonment has bean inflicted as well as fine. In my personal opinion, it can only be suitable in cases where the Court thinks that the justice of the case will be met by inflicting a substantial fine, but at the same time thinks that a short term of imprisonment in addition will serve as a salutary lesson to the accused, or in oases where it is desired to compensate the complainant or in cases where the accused has profited financially by his misdeed.
4. This being our opinion we set aside that part of the sentence which inflicts a fine upon the two accused, leaving in full force the rest of the sentence, that is to say, the term of imprisonment which has been passed on them. Except for this alteration the appeal is dismissed, and the reference for the same reasons is rejected.
S.K. Ghose, J.
5. I agree.