Court frowns on ‘misplaced sympathy’

Court frowns on ‘misplaced sympathy’

New Delhi, June 5 (PTI):  Misplaced sympathy for the accused is harmful to the criminal justice system, a Delhi court has said while refusing to set aside the three-year jail term awarded to a man for illegally possessing a pistol.

Special Judge Rakesh Kumar upheld the sentence awarded to convict Anil Kumar, a south Delhi resident, by a magisterial court in 2016 under the Arms Act.

“The sentence must take into account the gravity of the offence and its nature, otherwise it can seriously undermine the respect of court of law. Misplaced sympathy for accused is harmful to the criminal justice system,” the judge said.

The judge, while rejecting the convict’s appeal against the trial court order, held that he was rightly convicted and the sentence awarded to him was also not excessive.
“The appeal is without merit and accordingly the same is dismissed,” the court said.

According to the prosecution, the police received a tip-off that a gang of snatchers was scheduled to arrive at a market near Saket on September 29, 2013.

A raiding team of police officers was formed and they nabbed two persons, including Kumar and recovered a country-made pistol from him, it said.

He was arrested under section 25 (illegal possession of arms and ammunition) of the Arms Act and charge sheet was filed. The court framed charge against him in 2014.

In its August 2016 judgement, the magisterial court convicted him and sentenced him to three years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000.
Challenging this order, the convict contended that the weapon recovered from him was planted by the police to falsely implicate him.

He further claimed that there was no independent prosecution witness in the trial.
However, the court rejected this contention saying non-examination of independent witnesses was not fatal to the case and testimonies of police officials cannot be disregarded altogether in the absence of such witnesses.

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