Published on: May 20, 2022 at 18:38 IST
The Supreme Court said that ‘Hand can also be a weapon when a cricketer or extremely physically fit person inflicts the same’ and remarked that a disproportionately light Punishment humiliates and frustrates a Victim of Crime when the Offender goes unpunished or is let off with a relatively Minor Punishment.
The Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul remarked while allowing review petition that, “The hand can also be a weapon by itself where say a boxer, a wrestler or a cricketer or an extremely physically fit person inflicts the same. This may be understood where a blow may be given either by a physically fit person or to a more aged person.”
“Insofar as the injury caused is concerned, this Court has accepted the plea of a single blow by hand being given on the head of the deceased.”
“In our view, it is this significance which is an error apparent on the face of the record needing some remedial action.”
The Court remarked that while undue harshness is not required but inadequate Punishment may lead to the sufferance of the community at large.
The attack was not inflicted on a man of similar physical condition but on a 65-year-old man who is more than twice his age and Navjot Singh Sidhu cannot say that he did not know the effect of the blow on this aspect or plead ignorance.
“Indifference to the Rights of the Victim of Crime is fast eroding the faith of the society in general and the Victim of Crime in particular in the Criminal Justice System,” the Court said.
The Court said that the ancient quote means the person dispensing Justice as per Dharmashastra should prescribe a Punishment appropriate to the age, the time, and strength of the sinner, the penance is such that he may not lose his life and yet he may be purified.
The Court noted that it is a Case where some germane facts for sentencing appear to have been lost sight of while imposing only a Fine on Respondent and, therefore, no question of choosing between two possible views arises.
“The result of the aforesaid is that the Review Applications/Petitions are allowed to the aforesaid extent and in addition to the fine imposed we consider it appropriate to impose a sentence of imprisonment for a period of one-year rigorous Imprisonment to be undergone by Respondent No.1 (Sidhu). The parties are left to bear their own costs,” the Court said.