The Supreme Court has slammed the Uttarakhand government for filing a “frivolous" appeal challenging reduction of sentence of a man in a case of attempt to murder. A bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Vikram Nath noted that the counsel for the accused did not challenge the conviction before the Uttarakhand High Court and only argued for reduction of sentence and the lawyer for the State did not oppose such a prayer for reduction of sentence.
The top court dismissed the petition filed by the Uttarakhand government with a warning to the State that any other attempt of frivolous litigation in this court may be visited with penalisation of the officers responsible for sanctioning. “It is rather disturbing to note that in such a matter, where the State’s counsel before the high court did not even oppose the prayer for reduction of sentence and the high court made slight modification in the sentence considering the facts and circumstances of the case in totality, the State has chosen to approach this court seeking special leave to appeal without any justification. “The present petition could only be said to be a frivolous litigation by the State," the bench said in its October 20 order.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by Uttarakhand challenging judgement and order dated August 20, 2020 passed by the high court in which it maintained conviction of the accused of offences under Sections 307 (attempt to murder)/34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act. The high court, however, reduced the sentence in relation to the offence under Sections 307/34 IPC to rigorous imprisonment of four years and five months instead of seven years and also reduced the fine amount to Rs. 15,000 instead of Rs 20,000.