29 yrs on, HC cuts attempt to murder sentence to probation

During the proceedings, the convicts had asked for leniency due to the duration of the trial and appeal proceedings.

New Delhi | Published: January 11, 2014 2:35 am

A squabble over land between neighbours had landed 14 persons in jail on charges of attempt to murder, causing hurt and unlawful assembly in October 1985. The trial dragged on till 2000, during which two of the accused died and the rest were convicted of causing grievous hurt. The convicts then appealed in the High Court against the sentence of one-year imprisonment.
Twenty-nine years later, the Delhi High Court has reduced the sentence imposed by the trial court from one-year imprisonment to a year of probation for good conduct. Only nine of the original accused are still alive, and many of them are now over 65 years of age.
In an order issued on Thursday, Justice S P Garg released the nine men on probation for a year on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety of like amount, while asking them to “keep peace and be of good behaviour”.
“The appellants have suffered ordeal of trial/appeal for more than 27 years. They also remained in custody for some duration at the initial stage of investigation,” the court said.
During the proceedings, the convicts had not challenged their conviction, but had asked for leniency due to the duration of the trial and appeal proceedings.
The court also directed each of them to deposit Rs 25,000 in the trial court and ordered Rs 1 lakh from the amount to be paid to the victim who sustained grievous injuries. The remaining money will be disbursed in equal proportions to four others who were injured.

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