A sessions court last week showed leniency to two men, now in their forties, who were convicted by a magistrate in 2016 for being involved in a neighbourhood scuffle in 2001 that had left their neighbour - the complainant and his mother, injured.
The court said in its judgment on their appeal against the order sentencing them to six-month imprisonment, that it appears the quarrel between the two parties was on a trifle issue. If they are sent to jail, it said, the parties being neighbours, imprisonment will prove a counter-productive event.
Their advocate had told the court that the incident dates back to 2001 and at the time they were in their early twenties. He told the court further that they are now family men and while one is serving in a private company, the other is running a salon.
Additional Sessions Judge BV Wagh stated in his order that if the court upholds their conviction, the quarrel between the families will continue in future. To maintain peace and tranquility in both families, the court said, the decision would be in their interest. If they are sent to jail, their family would be jeopardized and their imprisonment may prove a counter-productive event, it said. Moreover, they may come in touch with hardened criminals than mend their ways of life. “Thus, from the angle of society, the principle of reformation of the offenders...imprisonment can never be an option in the present matter,” it said.
Judge Wagh considered that they are residing in the same locality and that there is nothing to show that they were involved in any other case.
The court then extended the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act to them and directed that they be released on executing a bond of good behaviour for a year of Rs. 1 lakh each.
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