No Criminal Antecedents - SC Releases Accused On Probation Of Good Conduct In Theft Case
A two-judge Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bela M. Trivedi has in a theft case released all the accused on probation of good conduct under Section 3 and 4 of Probation of Offenders Act and Section 361 CrPC holding that the accused did not have criminal antecedents.
Advocate Mr. Satish Kumar appeared for the Respondent–State before the Apex Court.
An appeal was preferred before the Supreme Court by the Appellants – Original Accused assailing the judgment of the Himachal Pradesh High Court which had dismissed the Criminal Revision Petition of the Appellants. The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mandi had affirmed the judgment of the Judicial Magistrate First Class for the offence under Section 379 read with Section 34 IPC. The Accused were directed to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of 3 years and pay a fine of Rs. 3000 in default thereof, to undergo simple imprisonment for one month.
The Counsel appearing for the Appellants had argued before the Apex Court that the Courts below should have considered the case of the Appellants for granting them the benefit of releasing them on probation under Section 361 CrPC read with Section 3 and 4 of Probation of Offenders Act
The Respondent–State did not resist the contention of the Appellants for releasing them on probation.
The Apex Court noted that Sections 3 and 4 of Probation of Offenders Act empower the Courts to release the offenders on probation of good conduct. Likewise, Section 360 and 361 CrPC empower Courts to release the offenders on probation of good conduct.
The Court further observed, "…having regard to sentence imposed by the courts below on the appellants for the offence under Section 379 read with Section 34 of IPC, and having regard to the fact there are no criminal antecedents against the appellants, the court is inclined to give them the benefit of releasing them on probation of good conduct."
Hence, in that view of the matter, the Bench while maintaining the conviction and sentence imposed on the Appellants, directed for their release on probation of good conduct.
Accordingly, the appeal was allowed with a direction to the Appellants to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 25000 with surety of like amount.