Criminal Appeal No. 637-SB of 2009 1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH Criminal Appeal No. 637-SB of 2009 Date of decision: May 15, 2009 Jaswinder Kaur @ Bholan -Appellant. Versus State of Punjab -Respondent
Coram Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rajan Gupta Present: Mr. Madan Mohan, Advocate, for the appellant. Mr. Shilesh Gupta, DAG, Punjab. Rajan Gupta, J.(Oral)
The appellant has been convicted by the Judge, Special Court,
Jalandhar for being in possession of 15 Kgs of poppy husk.
Learned counsel for the appellant states that he is limiting his
prayer only to the extent of reduction in the sentence awarded and does not
assail the judgment of conviction.
Learned State counsel, on the other hand submits that in case
conviction of the appellant is maintained, the Court may reduce the
sentence as deemed appropriate in the circumstances of the case.
I have heard learned counsel for the parties.
Briefly, the facts of the case are that on 9-5-2005, the police
intercepted a woman with a heavy plastic bag. On seeing the police party,
she tried to retreat. She was apprehended on suspicion. After following
the necessary formalities, the plastic bag carried by her was searched,
which led to recovery of 15 Kgs of poppy husk.
To substantiate its case against the appellant, the prosecution
Criminal Appeal No. 637-SB of 2009 2
examined as many as seven witnesses.
The statement of the accused was recorded in terms of Section
313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, wherein the incriminating evidence
available on record was put to her. She denied the allegations of the
prosecution and pleaded false implication.
On the basis of the evidence on record, the trial Court came to
the conclusion that the appellant was guilty of the offence punishable under
Section 15 of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, having
been found in possession of the contraband in question. She was sentenced
to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months and to pay a
fine of Rs. 500/-, in default of payment thereof to further undergo RI for
On a perusal of the judgment, I am of the considered view that
the trial Court correctly arrived at a conclusion that the appellant was guilty
of the offence alleged against her. The conviction of the appellant is, thus,
Even counsel for the appellant, during the course of arguments,
has not assailed the judgment of conviction. He, however, pleaded for
reduction in the quantum of sentence on the ground that the appellant is a
first offender, a poor house wife having three small children to look after
and her husband is just a labourer.
Learned State counsel has placed on record affidavit of
Superintendent, Central Jail, Jalandhar, according to which the appellant has
undergone 3 months & 16 days of her substantive sentence as on
Keeping in view the fact that the appellant is a poor lady, a first
Criminal Appeal No. 637-SB of 2009 3
offender, and the recovery effected from her possession falls under the
head ‘non-commercial quantity’, I deem it fit to reduce her substantive
sentence to the period already undergone. The amount of fine imposed by
the trial Court shall, however, remain the same. Ordered accordingly.
The amount of fine, if not already paid, shall be deposited
within a week of receipt of copy of this judgment, failing which the
appellant shall undergo further RI for ten days.
Except with the modification in the quantum of sentence, as
indicated hereinabove, the appeal is dismissed.
May 15, 2009.