Mandatory Jail Term
Section 325 of IPC is as under:
“325. Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.-Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Section 428 of Cr.PC is as under:
“428. Period of detention undergone by the accused to be set off against the sentence of imprisonment.-Where an accused person has, on conviction, been sentenced to imprisonment for a term, not being imprisonment in default of payment of fine, the period of detention, if any, undergone by him during the investigation, inquiry or trial of the same case and before the date of such conviction, shall be set off against the term of imprisonment imposed on him on such conviction, and the liability of such person to undergo imprisonment on such conviction shall be restricted to the remainder, if any, of the term of imprisonment imposed on him:
Provided that in cases referred to in section 433A, such period of detention shall be set off against the period of fourteen years referred to in that section.”
So far as Section 325 IPC is concerned, its reading would show that once the accused is held guilty of commission of offence punishable under Section 325 IPC, then imposition of jail sentence and fine on the accused is mandatory. In other words, the award of punishment would include both, i.e., jail sentence and fine. So far as jail sentence is concerned, it may extend upto 7 years as per Court’s discretion whereas so far as fine amount is concerned, its quantum would also depend upon the Court’s discretion.
So far as Section 428 of Code is concerned, it provides that the period of detention spent in jail as under-trial or as convict will be set off against his total jail sentence once awarded to him in connection with the same offence.
The High Court was, therefore, not right in setting aside the entire jail sentence of respondent No.1 while upholding his conviction under Section 325 IPC. The High Court, in our view, ought to have either upheld the award of jail sentence of four years awarded by the Sessions Court or reduce the jail sentence to any reasonable term but it had no jurisdiction to fully set aside the jail sentence and substitute it by imposing only fine of Rs.10,000/-.
As rightly argued by the learned counsel for respondent No.1, the period already undergone by respondent No.1 (40 days) while respondent No.1 was in detention, as under-trial and as convict, was also a jail sentence and could be treated as jail sentence once awarded to respondent No.1 under Section 325IPC, and accordingly its benefit by way of set off could be given to him under Section 428 of Code.
In our considered opinion, having regard to the time consumed in the litigation (37 years) coupled with the findings of two Courts below wherein it was held that respondent No.1 did not cause any injury to the deceased and injured Baij Nath (PW-2), we are inclined to uphold respondent No.1’s conviction under Section 325 IPC and award to respondent No.1’s punishment of imprisonment of 40 days with fine of Rs.10,000/- and in default of payment of fine, to undergo one month rigorous imprisonment.