The Allahabad High Court has stayed the one-and-a-half-year sentence awarded to BJP MP from Bansgaon, Gorakhpur, Kamlesh Paswan by the Sessions Court, Gorakhpur and the court has also approved his bail.
A Single Bench of Justice Rajeev Misra passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Kamlesh Paswan And 6 Others.
The revisionists- applicants has been convicted and sentenced vide judgment and order dated 26.11.2022, passed by the Additional Civil Judge (Civil Division), IInd/ Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, District- Gorakhpur in Criminal Case under Sections 147, 341, 435, 511 I.P.C and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, Police Station- Gulriha, District- Gorakhpur.
Feeling aggrieved by above judgment and order, revisionists applicants preferred an appeal before the Sessions Judge Gorakhpur.
The appeal came to be dismissed vide judgment and order dated 10.04.2023.
However, the court below granted 15 days time to the revisionists-applicants to appear before court below which time period is expiring today i.e 24.04.2023.
The Senior Counsel appearing for revisionists-applicants submitted that revisionists-applicants have been convicted and sentenced under Sections 147, 341, 435, 511 I.P.C and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, Police Station- Gulriha, District- Gorakhpur.
They have accordingly been sentenced to one year imprisonment along with fine of Rs 500/- each, under Section 147 I.P.C, one month imprisonment along with fine of Rs 250/- each, under Section 341 I.P.C, one year and six months imprisonment along with fine of Rs 500/- each, under Section 435/511 I.P.C and three months simple imprisonment along with fine of Rs 250/- each, under Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act. In case of default in each of the payment of fine, applicants-revisionists shall undergo 20 days additional imprisonment.
Senior Counsel for revisionists-applicants submitted that the maximum sentence awarded to the revisionists-applicants is one year and six months.
He then submitted that the offence complained of is private in nature and not a crime against the society. There is no likelihood of the revision being heard in the near future.
He further submitted that except for revisionist-applicant-1 Kamlesh Paswan, all other revisionist-applicants have no criminal antecedents to their credit except the present one.
Revisionist-applicant Kamlesh Paswan has one criminal case registered against him which has been duly explained. Referring to the impugned judgment passed by courts below, he submitted that the findings on the basis of which conviction and sentence has been awarded, are neither cogent nor sustainable in the light of the evidence on record.
It is, thus, urged that both the courts below have committed a jurisdictional error in passing the impugned judgments and orders.
He, therefore, submitted that revisionist-applicants be enlarged on bail during the pendency of the present criminal revision. In case, applicant revisionists are enlarged on bail, they shall not misuse the liberty of bail.
Per contra, the AGA has opposed the prayer for bail. He submitted that since revisionists-applicants have been convicted by both the courts below, therefore, they do not deserve any indulgence by this Court. Prima- facie the impugned judgment and order is sustainable in law. However, the AGA could not dislodge the factual/legal submissions urged by the Senior Counsel at this stage with reference to the record.
“Having heard, the Senior counsel for applicants revisionists, the A.G.A for State and upon perusal of material brought on record as well as the complicity of revisionists-applicants, accusation made coupled with the fact that the crime alleged to have been committed by revisionists applicants is private in nature and not a crime against society, the maximum sentence awarded to the revisionists-applicants is one year and six months, there is no likelihood of the revision being heard in near future but without making any comments on the merits of the revision, revisionist-applicants have made out a case for bail.
Let the revisionists-applicants, be released on bail on them furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned”, the Court observed.
Considering the facts that revisionist-applicant-1 Kamlesh Paswan is a sitting M.P. and the judgments and orders impugned in criminal revision, will cast a stigma upon his political career, as such they have serious consequences. The consequences are of unverifiable character, the Court said.
“Considering the above as well as the judgment of the Supreme Court in Navjot Singh Siddhu Vs State of Punjab, 2007 Volume II SCC 574, it is, hereby, provided that the sentence awarded to revisionist-applicant -1 shall remain stayed during the pendency of the revision. It is, however, provided that the fine awarded by court below shall be deposited by each of the applicants-revisionists within one month from today, failing which the applicants-revisionists shall be censured and applicants revisionists shall be taken into custody forthwith to serve out the sentence accorded to them”, the order reads.