On 31.12.2017 at 2:20 AM, when the forest officials were on duty at Forest Range Bannakhera. The informer gave information about the illegal forest activities being done by the accused. The appellant along with other persons was carrying the forest produce. On the intervention of the forest officials, the present appellant caused injury to the forest officials by firearm. The written information was submitted on 01.01.2018 at 12:15 PM with P.S. Kaladhungi, District Nainital. After investigation, a charge sheet was submitted. After compliance with the provision of Section 207 Cr.P.C., the case was committed to the court of sessions. Accordingly, the charge was framed against the appellant.
Further, the Trial Court convicted the appellant under Section 307 IPC and sentenced him to undergo five years imprisonment with a fine of Rs.25,000/-; he was also convicted under Section 26 of the Forest Act and sentenced to undergo six months imprisonment with a fine of Rs.1,000/-; in default of payment of fine.
The petitioner feeling aggrieved by the order of conviction and sentence, the present appeal is preferred before this Court.
Contentions before the Court
The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that he does not want to argue the case on merit, because the conviction of the appellant was based on material evidence. He submitted that the accused had already served more than one year of imprisonment and there was no criminal antecedent against him. Moreover, the matter relates to the year 2017. He further seeks that the Court while upholding the conviction of sentence might consider it appropriate to alter the sentence awarded to him and reduce it to the extent as already undergone by him.
The learned counsel for the State submitted that no maximum punishment was prescribed under Section 307 IPC and 16 months of imprisonment was sufficient in this case.
The Hon’ble Court came to this conclusion that the trial court had rightly convicted the appellant based on material evidence produced by the prosecution and there was no infirmity in the impugned findings regarding the conviction. Further, from the perusal of the record and considering the facts that the matter related to the year 2017 and would have occurred at the spur of the moment. The appellant did not have any criminal antecedent in his past life.
The Court because of the foregoing discussion, the appeals were allowed in part. The appellant was sentenced to sixteen months imprisonment under Section 307 of IPC instead of five years as awarded by the court. Further, the conviction and sentence awarded to him under Section 26 of the Forest Act were left intact. The fine awarded under each section was also maintained, and to deposit the fine as imposed by the trial court. On completion of a period of the sentence as modified by this Court, the appellant shall be released from jail as per law and after due verification of records.
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