It was decided once by Gujarat HC, an unreportable Judgment is not ‘unreportable’ on a website. Nonetheless, there has been no report on Sajid v. State of Uttarakhand & Another, [Criminal Appeal No. 983 of 2018].
The Appellant was convicted under Sections 363 and 366 of The Indian Penal Code and was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for 7 years [CRLA/314/2004, High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital].
A Woman was kidnapped [abducted] / abducted [not kidnapped], perhaps ‘criminally intimidated’ / perhaps ‘abused by authority’, knowing she will be forced / seduced to engage in illicit intercourse. The Appellant was undergoing his sentence when the Woman entered a compromise. It was submitted to Court that she is married, “living happily” and that she and her Husband have no complaint against the Appellant. The SC: “The sentence is limited to the period already undergone”. “The Appellant shall pay a fine of Rupees Two Lakhs… within a period of one month from today.”
Former Justice Markandey Katju had once justified reducing the sentence of imprisonment of 3 who gang-raped, on grounds that : i) a compromise had been reached; ii) the Victim was married and needed money for her Children; iii) imprisoning the Accused further would serve no purpose; iv) the Judgment [Baldev Singh v. State of Punjab, (2011) 13 SCC 705] was of a Lady Judge, Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, too.
In Shimbhu v. State of Haryana, (2014) 13 SCC 318 Three Judges [The CJI then, Former Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, The CJI next in Oct, 2018] were clear: “In the light of series of decisions, taking contrary view, we hold that the said decision in Baldev Singh cannot be cited as a precedent and it should be confined to that case.” In Shimbhu light, it appears just and noble that a married, settled life for a Victim cannot be construed as a special factor for reducing a sentence; a Court cannot always be assured that the Victim has genuinely compromised; a compromise entered into cannot be a leading factor based on which lesser punishment can be awarded.
It is remarkable, Sajid v. State of Uttarakhand & Another, [Criminal Appeal No. 983 of 2018] is ‘unreported’ and Hon’ble Justice Kurian Joseph & Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul have chosen silence.