Court upholds jail term for mobile thief, says misplaced sympathy harmful

NEW DELHI
13 Sep 2017

A court here has refused to quash the jail term of a man who stole a person's mobile phone after distracting him in heavy traffic, observing misplaced sympathy for the accused is harmful for criminal justice system. Special Judge Rakesh Kumar upheld the sentence of convict Mohd Yusuf while dismissing his appeal against a magisterial court's order sending him behind bars and imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 for the offence of theft.
"The sentence must take into account the gravity of the offence and its nature otherwise it can seriously undermine the respect of court of law. Misplaced sympathy for accused is harmful for criminal judicial system," the judge said. The court dismissed the convict's appeal saying the complainant's testimony was reliable and there was no reason from him falsely implicate Yusuf. "I am of the clear view that complainant witness is reliable and minor contradictions regarding case are not fatal in such case. "All these factors very clearly indicated that the accused had dishonestly removed the mobile phone of the complainant out of his possession without the consent of the complainant who was owner of the mobile phone and these facts constitute the offence of theft," the judge said.
According to the FIR, on January 8 last year complainant Amit Gaur was driving from Jia Sarai to Tughlakabad in south Delhi and when he was stuck in traffic near IIT flyover at 12.30 pm, Yusuf knocked on the car window accusing him of running over his leg. Soon, another person knocked on the other side asking him to move and not worsen the traffic jam by stopping in the middle of the road, it said, adding that when he suddenly turned left Yusuf had run away with his Iphone 6S. Gaur immediately lodged a complaint at the Hauz Khas Police Station after which the accused was arrested.
A magisterial court had on May 16 this year sentenced Yusuf to three years rigorous imprisonment for the offence under section 379 (theft) of the IPC. In his appeal against the order, the convict claimed that he was falsely implicated and the trial court had erred in convicting him as prosecution could not produce independent witnesses against him. The court, however, upheld the sentence saying, "To sum up, it is found that the accused has rightly and lawfully been convicted for the offence. The sentence passed upon the accused is also not excessive.(PTI)