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SC: Court Cannot Impose Sentence Less Than Minimum Sentence Contemplated In Statute SC: Court Cannot Impose Sentence Less Than Minimum Sentence Contemplated In Statute

Bronze medal Reporter Adv Rose Posted 10 Feb 2019 Post Comment Visitors: 683 Read More News and Blogs
SC: Court Cannot Impose Sentence Less Than Minimum Sentence Contemplated In Statute

The Supreme Court had stated that the court cannot impose a sentence less than the minimum sentence contemplated by the Statute. The court was dealing with a case in which the sentence is given for an offence under section 3 of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989. It is seen that the trial court had awarded a sentence of six months in addition to a fine of Rs.500. The appellant had requested the high court to reduce the quantum of sentence and the court allowed it by reducing the term and increasing the fine to 3000. This reduction by the high court is less than the minimum sentence contemplated by the statute. Thus the state made an appeal before the Supreme Court against High Court decision. Top courts observed the case and allow the appeal by quashing the order of the high court.

The apex court clearly stated that “where the minimum sentence is provided for, the Court cannot impose less than the minimum sentence. It is also held that provisions of Article 142 of the Constitution cannot be resorted to imposing a sentence less than the minimum sentence. The conviction has not been disputed by the respondent before the High Court as the quantum of punishment alone was disputed. Thus, the High Court could not award sentence less than the minimum sentence contemplated by the Statute in view of the judgments referred to above. Therefore, the present appeal is allowed. The order passed by the High Court is set aside. The respondent shall undergo the remaining sentence imposed by the trial court for an offence under Section 3(1)(xi) of the Act. The respondent shall surrender before the Court within four weeks.”

The Punishments mentioned according to Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989 are

(i) gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to be convicted of an offence which is capital by the law for the time being in force shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with fine; and if an innocent member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe be convicted and executed in consequence of such false or fabricated evidence, the person who gives or fabricates such false evidence, shall be punished with death;

(ii) gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to be convicted of an offence which is not capital but punishable with imprisonment for a term of seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years or upwards and with fine;

(iii) commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause damage to any property belonging to a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;



(iv) commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause destruction of any building which is ordinarily used as a place of worship or as a place for human dwelling or as a place for custody of the property by a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and with fine;

(v) commits any offence under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) punishable with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more against a person or property on the ground that such person is a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or such property belongs to such member, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and with fine;

(vi) knowingly or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed under this Chapter, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any information respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false, shall be punishable with the punishment provided for that offence; or

(vii) being a public servant, commits any offence under this section, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to the punishment provided for that offence.

You can refer to lawyers in India, for additional details.


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