Three men, convicted for grievously injuring the father of a vendor for charging 50 paise extra for a bundle of 'beedi', leading to his death two decades ago, have got respite from the Delhi High Court, which has refused to interfere with their three-and-a-half-year jail term.
On March 28, 1998, the three men went to purchase a bundle of 'beedi' from the vendor, who demanded Rs 3 for it, while the accused claimed it cost Rs 2.50. This was followed by a verbal altercation that turned into a scuffle.
Being assaulted by the men, the vendor raised an alarm, asking his father to save him. The accused beat up his father with sticks and the man died three days later, on March 31, 1998. Simple injuries were caused to his son.
The three men were sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by a trial court in 2001 for grievously injuring the victim and the police moved the Delhi High Court in 2003, seeking to hold them guilty for the offence of murder.
A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel recently dismissed the appeal and refused to interfere with the trial court's order, convicting and sentencing the three men for the milder offence, saying this court was unable to be persuaded to hold that the trial court had committed any grave illegality in coming to the conclusion.
"It may have been debatable, given the blunt force injuries on the head of the deceased, that the offence could be one punishable under section 304 Part II, IPC.
"However, at this distance in time i.e. more than 20 years after the incident and particularly given that by the time the trial concluded and the order on sentence was passed the three accused had already undergone more than three-and-a-half years of imprisonment and were in fact sentenced for the offence punishable under section 326 IPC to the period already undergone, the court is not inclined to interfere with either the conviction or the sentence awarded by the trial court," the bench said.
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