SIBA PRASAD MODA Vs. STATE OF ORISSA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
SIBA PRASAD MODA
STATE OF ORISSA
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Ray, C.J. -
(1.) This is an appln. for leave to appeal to the S.C. against our order in Cr. Revn. No. 458 of 1946 enhancing the sentence. It has been, however, made clear by the two counsel, who appeared before us & were permitted to argue one after the other, that they did not challenge the conviction. It has also to be noted that in the learned lower appellate Ct. too the applt. did not challenge the conviction but pleaded for reduction of sentence. The learned Ses. J. was successfully persuaded to commute the sentence of imprisonment of 6 months (which has since been restored by us) to a fine of Rs. 200.
(2.) Mr. Patnaik, the leading counsel in the case would argue that our judgment violates the principles laid down in Article 14 of the Constitution, inasmuch as, we have said, in our judgment that the accused being a Marwari merohant, a fins of Rs. 200 would amount to absolutely no punishment whatsoever, & that Siba Prasad Moda vs. State of Orissa (21.12.1950 -ORIHC) Page 2 of 4 he has to be sentenced with imprisonment; & that accordingly the sentence of imprisonment originally awarded by the trial Ct. should be restored. It is urged that it is a departure from the rule of natural justice.
(3.) The implications of the impugned observation in our judgment are that he being a monied man of substance, a fine of Rs. 200 will not prove appropriately deterrent so as to prevent him & others from repeating the offence. There was no discrimination on the ground that he was a Marwari or that he was a merchant. Besides, in the course of hearing, we observed that if the sentence of fine be imposed, it was likely that the man on whose behalf he was attempting to bribe the public servant would bear it & the real delinquent would go scot- free. We are, therefore, of opinion that this contention is not maintainable. Our finding does not detract from maintaining equality between man & man in the administration of law.;
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