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Supreme Court of India
Sunilkumar vs The State Of Kerala on 22 June, 2022
Author: Ajay Rastogi
Bench: C.T. Ravikumar, Sudhanshu Dhulia
NONREPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 907 OF 2022 (ARISING OUT OF SLP(CRL.) NO(S). 239 OF 2022) SUNIL KUMAR ….APPELLANT(S) VERSUS STATE OF KERALA & ANR. ….RESPONDENT(S) JUDGMENT
1. Leave granted.
2. The correctness of the judgment passed by the High Court of
Kerala dated 24th November, 2020 in Criminal Appeal No. 460 of
2006 is a subject matter of challenge in appeal before this Court.
3. The appellant, after facing trial, was convicted for the offence
Signature Not Verified
under Section 55(a) of the Abkari Act and Section 309 IPC and was
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sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for 3 years and to pay a
fine of Rs.1,00,000/ (Rupees One Lakh only) each, in default of
payment of fine, to undergo simple imprisonment for one year
under Section 55(a) of Abkari Act and further sentenced to pay fine
of Rs.2,000/ (Rupees Two Thousand only) under Section 309 IPC
by the learned Additional Sessions Judge by judgment dated 7 th
4. On appeal being preferred, the High Court while upholding
conviction, modified the sentence to undergo simple imprisonment
for 2 years and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/(Rupees One Lakh
only), in default of payment of fine, to undergo simple imprisonment
for one year and conviction and sentence under Section 309 IPC
was set aside, that became a subject matter of challenge in appeal
before this Court.
5. As per the case of the prosecution, the appellant under the
leadership of coaccused (A3 to A5) was found dealing with spirit
and for that purpose, A3 had taken house on rent. A3 to A5
bought 3000 litres of spirit in 86 cans each containing 35 litres and
stored the same in two rooms on the upstairs of the above said
house, and entrusted the same to the appellant(A1) and A2 to deal
with it on commission basis. This was detected on 12 th June, 1999
at about 01:55 a.m. by PW10 and his police party. When the
appellant and A2 came to know about the same, they attempted to
commit suicide by inflicting injuries on the wrist portion of their
hands, and thus, according to the prosecution, the accused
committed offence under Section 55(a) of the Abkari Act and
Section 309 IPC.
6. To substantiate the case, prosecution examined PW1 to PW
11. In support of the defence, four witnesses were examined as
DW1 to DW4 and the record was exhibited during the course of
7. After going through the evidence and documents, the trial
Court found the appellant(A1), A2 and A3 guilty and convicted
them under Section 55(a) of the Abkari Act and A1 and A2 under
Section 309 IPC.
8. The High Court on appeal being preferred, perused the record
and upheld the conviction of the appellant under Section 55(a) of
the Abkari Act but modified the sentence to undergo simple
imprisonment of two years and fine of Rs. 1,00,000/(Rupees One
Lakh only), in default of payment of fine, the appellant was directed
to undergo simple imprisonment for one year and set aside
conviction under Section 309 IPC.
9. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and with their
assistance have gone through the record as well as statements of
PW1 to PW11 and also the statement of the accused appellant
recorded under Section 313 CrPC and find no reason to deviate
from the finding of conviction returned by the learned trial Court
and confirmed by the High Court under the impugned judgment.
10. At the same time, taking into consideration the overall aspect
of the matter and the fact that 23 years have been rolled by this
time from the date of incident and also noticing that there are no
criminal antecedents against the appellant as indicated in Para 20
of the impugned judgment, while upholding conviction under
Section 55(a), consider it appropriate to modify the sentence to
simple imprisonment of one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/
(Rupees One Lakh only), in default of payment of fine, to further
undergo simple imprisonment of six months.
11. With this modification, the appeal stands disposed of.
12. Since the appellant was granted exemption from surrendering
by an Order of this Court dated 10th January 2022, the appellant
shall now surrender and undergo the remaining part of the
sentence. If the appellant fails to surrender within four weeks, the
authorities shall take appropriate action in accordance with law.
13. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
JUNE 22, 2022.