Kunti Kumari vs The State Of Jharkhand on 8 April, 2022


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Supreme Court of India

Kunti Kumari vs The State Of Jharkhand on 8 April, 2022

Author: Vikram Nath

Bench: S. Abdul Nazeer, Vikram Nath

                                                                      Non­Reportable
                                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                            CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(s).590 OF 2022
                          (arising out of SLP (CRL.) No(s). 1406 of 2017)


          KUNTI KUMARI                                          ...APPELLANT(S)

                                              VERSUS

          THE STATE OF JHARKHAND                                ...RESPONDENT(S)




                                            JUDGMENT

VIKRAM NATH, J.

Leave granted.

2. The complainant Amita Tudu (PW-7), as per the written

report at the relevant time, was the President of Village

Education Committee, Middle School, Kora Para. Budget

meeting for the training for 2008-2009 was scheduled for

18.12.2007 and after the meeting, meal packets were to be
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
Anita Malhotra

distributed to those who were participating in the budget
Date: 2022.04.08
16:07:36 IST
Reason:

meeting. Around 01:30 PM on the said date, the complainant

1
was about to hand over the meal packet to the appellant. Then,

all of a sudden, the appellant snatched the meal packet from

complainant hands, abused her with respect to her community

and also uttered that she belonged to a low caste which

relishes meat of pig and cow and even a dog will not eat from

her hands and that how dare she give her the packet and also

called her by her tribal name ‘Santhal’ and left the school

premises. The complainant further stated that in this manner

she had been abused and insulted in the presence of many

teachers and trainees which caused her mental harassment.

The said complaint was registered as FIR No.05 of 2007, Police

Station Jamtara, District Jamtara, under Section 504 IPC and

Section 3(i)(x) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled

Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 1. After investigation, a

charge sheet was submitted, cognizance taken by the special

Court and the trial was conducted.

3. The appellant was convicted under Section 504 IPC and

Section 3(i)(x) of the SC/ST Act by the trial court vide judgment

dated 28.08.2010 and was sentenced to four months simple

imprisonment under Section 504 IPC and six months simple

1 In short “the SC/ST Act”

2
imprisonment under Section 3(i)(x) of the SC/ST Act. The

criminal appeal filed by the appellant was partly allowed by the

High Court vide judgment dated 09.12.2016. The High Court

set aside the conviction and sentence under Section 3(i)(x) of

the SC/ST Act. It, however, upheld the conviction under Section

504 IPC and reduced the sentence to 15 days simple

imprisonment.

4. The finding of conviction under Section 504 IPC has been

concurrently recorded by the Trial Court as also by the High

Court in appeal based upon appreciation of the evidence led by

the prosecution. In that view of the matter, we are not inclined

to enter into appreciation of evidence at this stage and

accordingly confirm the conviction. However, insofar as the

sentence is concerned, learned counsel for the appellant

submitted that the appellant may be extended the benefit of

the provisions contained in the Probation of Offenders Act,

19582. Accordingly, the appeal is being considered on the

above issue of sentence.

5. Section 3 of the 1958 Act confers power upon the court to

release certain offenders after admonition when a person is

2 In short “1958 Act”

3
found guilty of having committed an offence punishable under

Section 379 or Section 380 or Section 381 or Section 404 or

Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code or any offence

punishable with imprisonment for not more than two

years, or with fine, or with both, under the Indian Penal

Code or any other law, and there is no previous conviction

proved against such offender. In the present case, the

conviction is under Section 504 IPC where the maximum

sentence provided is two years. There is no previous conviction

of the appellant. Further, Section 11 of 1958 Act provides that

an order under this Act may be made by any court empowered

to try and sentence the offender to imprisonment and also by

the High Court or any other court when the case comes before

it on appeal or in revision. Thus, this Court under the 1958 Act

itself can pass an order at this stage. (emphasis ours)

6. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, we

deem it appropriate that the appellant may be released instead

of carrying out the sentence after due admonition. Accordingly,

agreeing with the conviction under Section 504 IPC, the

appellant is directed to be released after admonition under

4
Section 3 of the 1958 Act. To that extent the sentence is

modified and the appeal is allowed.

7. It may be mentioned here that under the orders of this

Court dated 06.07.2021, the appellant has deposited

Rs.10,000/- with the Registry as per the Office Report dated

24.03.2022. It is further to be noted that earlier this Court vide

order dated 10.02.2020 had directed the appellant to pay a

sum of Rs.10,000/- to the complainant but no proof of payment

of the said amount was filed by the appellant as such the

subsequent order was passed on 05.07.2021 to deposit the said

amount with the registry of this Court. The said amount was for

the benefit of the complainant. We accordingly direct the

registry to transfer the said amount to the complainant after

getting necessary details of the complainant.

………………………………..J.

[S. ABDUL NAZEER]

……………………………….J.

[VIKRAM NATH]
NEW DELHI
APRIL 08, 2022.

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