New Delhi, April 15: The Supreme Court has held an order regarding women convicts that whose punishment involves both fine and imprisonment, imposing only a fine on them would be “unjust” and ‘unfair”. This decision was taken by the apex court on Friday over an appeal against the Himachal Pradesh High Court which earlier modified the trial court order of imprisonment of a woman convict in Himachal Pradesh on terms of paying fine.
A woman in Himachal Pradesh was involved in a crime of drugging a man with sedatives in drink and helping a man to robe 27000rs.A Chamba trial court had imposed a two-year jail term and 6000 Rs. fine. She appealed in HP high court against the order. She was shown mercy by High Court for having three minor children and she was allowed to be free by paying a fine of 30000 Rs. An appeal was filed against this judgment in the apex court.
A bench of Justice A.K.Shikri and Ashoke Bhushan has given a verdict that she was already shown mercy in trial court. Hence high court should not have changed the verdict. Though Justice Siki has agreed that gender can not reduce the intensity of punishment but it can be taken into consideration sometimes depending on the circumstances.
"Insofar as Indian judicial mind is concerned, I find that in certain decisions of this Court, gender is taken as the relevant circumstance while fixing the quantum of sentence. I may add that it would depend upon the facts of each case, whether it should be treated as a relevant consideration and no hard and fast rule can be laid down," Justice Sikri said.
To stop this practice Justice Bhushan has made the strict statement stating "Appellate Court scheme.”
“In event, such power is conceded to Appellate Authority to alter a sentence of imprisonment and fine with sentence only of a fine, the consequences will be unfair and unjust.", he added.