“Sentence for rash driving after 26 years”
In an incident a car driver was injured by a bus driver who was driving in a rash and negligent manner. Incident took place on 16.02.1995. Accused, bus driver was throughout on the bail. Accused was awarded the sentence of imprisonment of six months and further sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.500/- under Section 337 after recording the conviction under Section 279 and 338, by the Trial Court. Conviction of the bus driver was upheld by the Supreme Court but the sentence was substituted by fine of Rs. 1000/- each. It was said that sending the accused to jail after 26 years would be harsh.
“The conviction of appellant is affirmed, however, looking to the facts and circumstances of the present case specially the fact that 26 years have elapsed from the incident, we are inclined to substitute the sentence of six months imprisonment under Section 279 and 338 into fine. Six months sentence under Section 279 and 338 IPC are substituted by fine of Rs.1000/- each whereas sentence of fine under Section 337 IPC is maintained.”, court stated. Surendran v. Sub-Inspector of Police, [2021 SCC OnLine SC 445]
Ingredients of KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM
A 13-year-old child was kidnapped for ransom by an auto-driver, who took the child to his sister’s house and demanded a ransom of Rs.2 lakhs from the child’s father. Father of the child reported to the concerned police station after receiving the phone call to file the complaint. Police got the accused by applying the little trap. Accused, auto driver was caught while taking the ransom from the child’s father and the child was also found in an auto parked nearby.
The essential ingredients of Kidnapping for ransom as discussed:
(i) Kidnapping or abduction of any person or keeping a person in detention after such kidnapping or abduction; and
(ii) threatens to cause death or hurt to such person, or by his conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death or hurt, or;
(iii) causes hurt or death to such person in order to compel the Government or any foreign State or any Governmental organization or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom.
Court took into notice the statement of the child before pronouncing the sentence. Child was not alleged that any threat was extended to cause death or hurt to the victim and nor treated in a bad manner. Child stated that he was treated in a good manner.
After establishing first condition, one more condition has to be fulfilled since after first condition, word used is “and”. Thus, in addition to first condition either condition (ii) or (iii) has to be proved, failing which conviction under Section 364A cannot be sustained. Second condition was not fulfilled for the alleged offence.
Supreme Court set aside the conviction of the appellant under Section 364A. As the offence of kidnapping was proved, the accused was charged for kidnapping. It was stated that appellant, driver deserved to be convicted under section 363 of the Act of 1860, which provides for punishment; imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
The accused was sentenced to imprisonment of seven years and fine of Rs.5,000/- . It was also directed that the appellant shall be released after completion of imprisonment of seven years (if not completed already). Shaik Ahmed v. State of Telangana, [2021 SCC OnLine SC 436].
Language of Section 364A– Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person or keeps a person in detention after such kidnapping or abduction, and threatens to cause death or hurt to such person, or by his conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death or hurt, or causes hurt or death to such person in order to compel the Government or any foreign State or international inter-governmental organisation or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom, shall be punishable with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.