Surendran vs Sub Inspector Of Police on 30 June, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Surendran vs Sub Inspector Of Police on 30 June, 2021

Author: Ashok Bhushan

Bench: Ashok Bhushan, Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah

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                                                                             REPORTABLE

                                  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                 CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                 CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 536 OF 2021
                         (@ Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.5985 of 2016)


         SURENDRAN                                                     ...APPELLANT(S)

                                                   VERSUS

         SUB-INSPECTOR OF POLICE                                     ...RESPONDENT(S)




                                             J U D G M E N T

ASHOK BHUSHAN,J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal has been filed against the judgment of

the High Court dated 01.09.2015 dismissing the Criminal

Revision filed by the appellant challenging his

conviction and sentence under Section 279, 337 and 338

IPC.

Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MEENAKSHI KOHLI

3.
Date: 2021.06.30
14:58:56 IST
Reason:

The appellant, a bus driver, while driving bus

No.KL7D 4770 caused an accident on 16.02.1995 in which
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car driver of KL 10B 5634 was injured. The appellant

was charged with offence under Sections 279, 337 and

338 IPC. The learned Judicial First Class Magistrate

vide his judgment dated 28.04.1999 convicted the

accused under Section 279 IPC and 338 IPC and sentence

him to undergo six months imprisonment and fine of

Rs.500/- was imposed, in default to undergo simple

imprisonment for one month under Section 337 IPC.

4. An appeal was filed by the appellant which was

dismissed by the learned Sessions Judge by judgment

dated 29.05.2003. Criminal Revision was filed in the

High Court challenging the judgment of the learned

Sessions Judge which Criminal Revision petition has

been dismissed by the High Court vide the impugned

judgment dated 01.09.2015.

5. This Court on 01.08.2016 issued notice only on the

question of sentence. Service of notice is complete but

no one has appeared for respondent.
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6. Learned Counsel for the appellant contends that the

appellant is sole bread earning member of a poor family

consisting of four children and his wife. It is

submitted that the appellant if sent to jail after more

than 21 years, will suffer irreparable injury.

7. Learned counsel for the appellant has placed

reliance on judgment of this Court in A.P. Raju versus

State of Orissa, 1995 Supp.(2) SCC 385 and Prakash

Chandra Agnihotri versus State of M.P., (1990) Supp.

SCC 764.

8. We have considered the submissions of learned

counsel for the appellant and have perused the record.

9. The judgment of this Court in Prakash Chandra

Agnihotri (Supra) as relied by learned counsel for the

appellant does support his submissions. In the above

case, the accused was convicted and sentenced for six

months under Section 304A. This Court converted the

sentence of imprisonment into fine of Rs.500/-. The

Court was of the view that it would be harsh to send
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the appellant to the Jail after 18 years of the

occurrence. Following was observed in paragraph 1 of

the judgment: –

“1. The Courts below have maintained the
conviction of the appellant under
Section 304-A Indian Penal Code. We have
gone through the judgments of courts
below and we find no infirmity therein.
We uphold the conviction. The occurrence
took place on February 18, 1972. The
appellant has throughout been on bail.
He has been sentenced to six months
rigorous imprisonment and a fine of
Rs.250. We are of the view that it would
be rather harsh to send the appellant to
jail after 18 years of the occurrence.
The ends of justice would be met if the
appellant is asked to pay a fine of
Rs.2000/-. The sentence is thus
converted to a fine of Rs.2000/-. On
realisation the amount shall be paid to
the family of the deceased girl. The
amount be deposited with the Trial Court
within two months from today and the
trial court shall disburse the same to
the parents of the girl and in absence
of the parents to the next of kin of the
girl. In default of the payment of fine
the appellant shall undergo imprisonment
for six months.”

10. The incident took place on 16.02.1995 i.e. more

than 26 years ago. It appears that appellant was
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throughout on the bail. The Trial Court after

marshalling the evidence has recorded the conviction

under Section 279, 338 and awarded sentence of

imprisonment of six months and further sentenced to pay

a fine of Rs.500/- under Section 337.

11. We do not find any error in conviction recorded by

the Trial Court. The conviction of appellant is

affirmed, however, looking to the facts and

circumstances of the present case specially the fact

that 26 years have elapsed from the incident, we are

inclined to substitute the sentence of six months

imprisonment under Section 279 and 338 into fine. Six

months sentence under Section 279 and 338 IPC are

substituted by fine of Rs.1000/- each whereas sentence

of fine under Section 337 IPC is maintained.

12. The accused may deposit the fine of Rs.1000+1000

i.e. Rs.2000/- within a period of one month in the

Trial Court. The judgments of the Courts below are
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modified to the above extent. The appeal is partly

allowed accordingly.

………………..J.

(ASHOK BHUSHAN)

………………..J.

(VINEET SARAN)

………………..J.

(M.R.SHAH)

NEW DELHI,
JUNE 30,2021.



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