Convicts “deserve an opportunity to reform”, a court here observed while passing an order on the term of sentencing of four people convicted in a 2015 robbery case, fixing their sentence to the period of imprisonment already served.
Additional Sessions Judge Neeraj Gaur made the observation was pronouncing his order on the term of sentence of convicts Rahul, Manish and Sonu and Kanhaiya.
Rahul, Manish and Sonu were convicted under IPC sections 392 (punishment for robbery) read with 120B (criminal conspiracy), 120B separately and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) in February. Kanhaiya was convicted under section 411 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the order passed on May 18, the judge said, “The mitigating circumstances in favour of the convicts are that they are of young age; they have shown remorse for their act; no previous conviction has been proved against the convicts; they are having the responsibility of their respective families; there are chances of their reformation; and they belong to lower socio-economic strata of society.”
Conversely, the aggravating circumstances against the convicts are that they committed the robbery on an open road pursuant to a planned conspiracy, he added.
“After considering all the relevant facts and circumstances, I am of the view that the convicts deserve an opportunity to reform,” the judge said, fixing the term of sentence of the convicts as the period of imprisonment already undergone for the offences.
The court also fined Rahul, Manish and Sonu a total of Rs 10,000 each. It imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Kanhaiya as well for the offence under IPC section 411.
“Sentences of imprisonment to run concurrently,” the judge said, adding the “benefit of section 428 (period of detention undergone by the accused to be set off against the sentence or imprisonment) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) be given to the convicts as per law”.
During the proceedings, advocate Fahad Khan, counsel for Rahul and Sonu, submitted that the convicts may be dealt with leniently.
The assistant public prosecutor, however, sought the imposition of maximum punishment, saying the convicts committed a robbery of Rs 10,56,700 from the complainant.
Rahul (29) was in custody for more than 23 months, Sonu (32) for 20 months, Manish (32) for 11 months and Kanhaiya for more than nine months.
The court said the convicts do not have the “paying capacity to pay compensation to the victim” and the aspect of compensation cannot be considered by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA) under the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme as the offences of the present nature are not covered in the scheme.
Further, all the convicts are from lower-income groups, earning somewhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 18,000 per month, and it is reported that they do not have any movable or immovable property in their name, the court said.
“In view of the entire facts and circumstances of the case, it is directed that 50 per cent of the fine shall be released to the actual owner of the robbed money who is Satish Sharma (complainant) In addition, the case property i.e, the amount of money recovered from the convicts during the investigation be also released to him,” the court said.
The FIR in the case was registered at the Bharat Nagar police station against the accused in 2015.