Decided on December 01,1996

STATE OF DELHI Respondents


S.K.Mahajan,J. - (1.)By judgment dated 24th November, 1993, the Additional Sessions Judge while convicting the appellant of the offence under Sections 394/34 Indian Penal Code read with Section 397 Indian Penal Code, sentenced him to undergo RI for seven years and also imposed a fine of Rs.2,000.00 and in default of the payment of fine to undergo further RI for a period of six months. The appellant was in detention for a period of about eight months during trial and is in jail since the date of his conviction. While the learned counsel for the appellant has not challenged the judgment of the learned Additional Sessions Judge finding him guilty of the offence punishable under Sections 394/34 Indian Penal Code read with Section 397 Indian Penal Code, the only point raised before me is that the appellant was of the age of 19 years on the date of commission of offence and he should have, therefore, been given the benefit of Section 6 of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (in short referred to as the Act).
(2.)The appellant has placed on record the copy of the admission card of the All-India Secondary School Examination showing the date of birth of the appellant as 1.1.1968. The offence for which the appellant has been found guilty was committed on 31st March, 1987 and the appellant, therefore, admittedly was of the age of 19 years and 3 months as on the date of commission of offence. Under Section 6 of the Act, when any person under 21 years of age is found guilty of having committed an offence punishable with imprisonment (but not with imprisonment for life), the Court by which the person is found guilty shall not sentence him to imprisonment unless it is satisfied that, having regard to the circumstances of the case including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, it would not be desirable to deal with him under Section 3 or 4, and if the Court passes any sentence of imprisonment of the offender, it shall record its reasons for doing so. Under sub-Section 2 of the Section 6 of the Act, for the purposes of satisfying as to whether it would not be desirable to deal under Section 3 or Section 4 with an offender, the Court shall call for a report from the Probation Officer and consider the report and any other information available to it relating to the character and physical and mental condition of the offender.
(3.)It appears that the provisions of the Act were not brought to the notice of the learned Additional Sessions Judge or he was not informed about the age of the offender and that may be the reason that there is no discussion in the judgment about the petitioner not being given the benefit of the Act. After the matter was argued in this Court, a report was obtained from the Probation Officer in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The Probation Officer has since filed his report and I am impressed with the same.

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