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A Delhi court reduced two-year jail term awarded to a HIV + man for stealing a railway property to six months on compassionate grounds.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain reduced the convict’s jail term, showing leniency to him because he being a HIV+ but rejecting his appeal against a magisterial court’s July 2011 judgment, which had held him guilty of stealing a railway article worth Rs 15,000.

 “Under Section 3 of the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act, if accused is a previous convict, minimum sentence is prescribed for two years and fine not less than Rs 2,000 unless there are some special and adequate reasons”.

 “Admittedly, appellant is a HIV+ patient since 2010 and he is getting treatment from DDU Hospital, in my opinion this is sufficient reason to take a lenient view. Accordingly, I sentence the appellant to 18 months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000… sentence is modified,” it said.

 The man had come in appeal to the sessions court in March this year through the superintendent of Tihar Jail, where he had been lodged since his conviction in July 2011.

 He was arrested by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials on January 31, 2011 for being found in possession of the railway article, but had been granted bail shortly after that.

 The court upheld his conviction saying he had failed to explain as to how did he come to possess the railway article.

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