Last month, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence of an accused in an attempt to murder (Section 307 IPC) case as both the accused and victim had entered into an amicable settlement.
A two-judge Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S. Oka held, "It is a fit case to take a sympathetic view and reconsider the quantum of sentence awarded to the appellant. We have recorded our satisfaction, based on the reasons, that the parties to the dispute have mutually settled their disputes and buried their past."
An appeal was preferred against the judgment of Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench which had upheld the conviction of the Appellant under section 307 IPC and sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000, along with 3 months of rigorous imprisonment in case of default.
In this case, the Appellant along with his two other associates with a sharp-edged weapon had stabbed on the stomach of the victim with intent to kill him. The accused along with other co-accused were charged under Section 307 read with Section 34 IPC.
During the pendency of the proceedings, the victim was impleaded as a Respondent and a joint affidavit was filed by the wife of the Appellant-Accused and the injured victim.
The Court after observing the contents of the affidavit opined that the parties had entered into an amicable settlement. The Appellant had already apologized to the victim and had maturely sought forgiveness from the victim. The victim had also willfully accepted the same and came forward to settle the dispute.
The Apex Court while referring to the several precedents held, "The joint affidavit inspires confidence that the apology as tendered by the appellant has voluntarily been accepted given the efflux of time and is not a result of any coercion or inducement. Considering that they are residing in the same village and are peacefully residing after the uncalled for incident has taken place, in our view, this appears to be a fit case for reduction of sentence."
The Bench took into consideration the overall facts on record, other mitigating factors, and circumstances in which the crime was committed including the nature of the injury, period for which the victim remained under medical treatment, mental agony suffered by the victim, and also the compromise entered into between the parties, upheld the conviction under Section 307 IPC.
The Court reduced the quantum of sentence of the Appellant-Accused to five years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000/- and three months of rigorous imprisonment in case of default. Accordingly, the Court partly allowed the appeal.