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ORDER ON SENTENCE Dt 08.11.2021- TAMPERING OF EVIDENCE CASE

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CC No. 39858/2016
STATE Vs. DINESH CHAND SHARMA
FIR No. 207 /2006
PS EOW (Tilak Marg)
08.11.2021
Present: Sh A. T. Ansari, Ld Addl. PP for the State.
Sh. Vikas Pahwa, Ld Sr. Advocate along with Ms Raavi Sharma, Ld
Counsels for AVUT along with Smt. Neelam Krishnamurthy and Sh. R.
Krishnamurthy.
Sh. P. K. Dubey, Ld Sr. Advocate alongwith Sh. Vikas Aggarwal,
Ld Counsels for Convict Gopal Ansal along with Gopal Ansal.
Sh. Tanvir Ahmad Mir, Sh. Siddharth Kashyap, Sh. Dhruv Gupta, Sh.
Shiraz Berry and Sh. Vaibhav Suri, Ld Counsels for Convict Sushil Ansal along
with Sushil Ansal.
Sh. Manu Sharma along with Ms. Ridhima Mandhar and Sh. Varun Kumar,
Ld Counsels for Convict P.P. Batra along with P. P. Batra.
Sh Sudarshan Rajan, Ld Counsel for Convict Dinesh Chandra Sharma
along with Dinesh Chandra Sharma.
Sh. Rohit Sharma, Ld Counsel for Convict Anoop Singh Karayat along with
Anoop Singh Karayat.

ORDER ON SENTENCE

Brief summary of arguments on sentence on behalf of Prosecution: On
behalf of Prosecution, it was submitted that sentence should be such
which is capable enough to send message to the society as this case is not a usual case but
it is a case related to justice dispensation system. It was argued that the seriousness of which
can be gauged from the fact that Hon’ble High Court of Delhi directed investigation in this case
by an officer not less than rank of ACP. It was submitted that conduct of the accused persons
namely Gopal Ansal and Sushil Ansal in the case was taken due note by Hon’ble Supreme
Court of India which cannot be ignored and should serve an important factor for passing
sentence. It is submitted that Hon’ble High Court of Delhi continued to monitor this case and
even passed the direction to take up case thrice in a week so that it be concluded in a time
bound manner which indicate the gravity of the offence involved. It was argued that a different
yardstick has to be adopted for passing sentence in this case to restore faith of the people
which they repose in this institution which has been eroded to a greater extent by the act of
tampering/ obliterating of the documents in an ongoing trial. It was submitted that accused
are the potential threat to the legal system and they have no respect for the rule of law as one
of the convict Sushil Ansal obtained passport by concealing material information relating to his
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involvement in criminal offences for which a separate case was filed by the orders of Hon’ble
High Court of Delhi and subsequently, he was chargesheeted
and facing trial. The convicts
are incorrigible persons which is reflecting from their attitude and conduct. It was underscored
that the crime committed by accused persons was against an institution of justice as such they
should be dealt with stern sentence which must reflect deterrence and retribution. It was
submitted that the conduct of the accused persons namely Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal has
been unsatisfactory as numerous cases have been filed against them by a lot of persons/
institutions which is well documented. It was submitted that their old age cannot be a
mitigating factor as while the offence was committed they both were matured persons and
committed the offence intentionally to gain acquittal by thwarting the trial process through
conspiracy. It was submitted that health condition may not be considered as mitigating factor
as same is not a relevant consideration for passing a sentence in a case like this. It was
submitted that accused persons procrastinated the trial which is evident from the fact that
almost all the orders of substantive nature were challenged which contributed to the delay.
It was submitted that crime committed by accused persons increased the agony of the victims
manifold and made them skeptical about the outcome of the trial, however, due to the inbuilt
mechanism of our legal system the said situation was addressed. It was submitted that
providing compensation to the victims is part of our sentencing mechanism and in addition to
prosecution the victims of the main Uphaar case should be provided compensation. It was
submitted that apart from Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, other accused persons paid active
role in the conspiracy which has been now established by way of evidence and strict
punishment be awarded to them regardless of their age and other mitigating factors. It was
argued that society expects that strict punishment be given to the offenders who fiddle with
the judicial process regardless of their financial status, age and other responsibilities. It was
submitted by Ld Addl PP that Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India, recently remarked that
“people faith in the judicary is the biggest strength of the democracy.” It was thus prayed on
behalf of prosecution that maximum sentence as provided under the law be handed over to
the convicts and the maximum compensation to the victims considering the gravity of the
offence and the plight of the victims.
On behalf of AVUT, it was submitted that maximum punishment be awarded
to the convicts given the enormity of offence. It was submitted that for Sushil Ansal and Gopal
Ansal, this is the second conviction and they are no longer first time offender. It was argued
that this offence is graver than principal offence of Uphaar fire punishable under section 304A
IPC. This case manifests the audacity and arrogance of accused Gopal Ansal and Sushil
Ansal who feel that they are beyond the reach of law and can get away with crime. It was
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argued that accused persons namely Gopal Ansal and Sushil Ansal misused their liberty
granted in the main Uphaar case and committed this offence in conspiracy with the Court staff
and other convicts. It was argued that Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had cancelled their
regular bail taking note of the gravity of offence of this case. Convict Sushil Ansal without
approaching the Trial Court for grant of NOC for renewal of his passport as required under the
law obtained it through concealment of information for which he has been chargesheeted
and
facing trial. It was argued that the affidavit submitted by convict Gopal Ansal is false as the
amount of Rs. 30 crores was paid by him as fine and not as compensation as in case of nonpayment
he would have served sentence. It was argued that convict Gopal Ansal has
attempted to cheat this Court and also committed perjury. It was submitted that AVUT is a
victim of the offences committed by the convict in the present case as on the petition of the
AVUT the present case was registered and trial was ordered to be expedited. AVUT suffered
immense mental trauma due to deliberate delay in justice caused in the main case.
The criminal act of the convicts caused serious mental injury to the victims as denial of justice
caused serious mental agony to the victims. The fine amount as ordered by Hon’ble Supreme
Court of India was paid by convicts Gopal Ansal and Sushil Ansal to the State and not to the
victims. The compensation to the victims was paid by the company and not by convicts Sushil
Ansal and Gopal Ansal. It was submitted that convicts are incorrigible persons which is clear
from their conduct. The plea of philanthropy and the charitable works are part of Corporate
Social Responsibility under the law and same should not be considered as probono work by
the convict. Further, the educational institution of convict charged hefty fees and same are not
to be confused with charitable or philanthropy work. AVUT was granted Rs. 5.40 crores
compensation in civil case and they are entitled for more compensation in the present case
owing to the suffering they have undergone during the length of trial. It was argued that
victims are entitled for adequate compensation as per scheme of section 357 Cr.P.C and in
terms of the judgment of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi titled as Karan v. State Crl. M.A.
352/2020 decided on 27.11.2020. Finally it was submitted that Hon’ble Bench of Hon’ble
Supreme Court of India said during proceedings “Tampering with court record is worse than
murder and decoity”,
Brief summary of arguments on sentence on behalf of Convicts: On
behalf of convict Gopal Ansal, it was submitted that AVUT can at the
most be an informant in this case and same cannot be understood as victim as they were
victim in the main Uphaar case and have already received compensation as decided by the
Court. It was further submitted that the company which paid compensation was run by convict
as such the compensation was paid by him. It was submitted that the conduct of convict has
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been fair throughout as he never contributed to delay as he challenged no effective order
against him passed during trial of this case. It was submitted that he never disobeyed any
order passed by this Court during the trial. It was submitted that age, health and contribution
of the convict to the society by way of income tax needs to be considered as a mitigating
factor. It was submitted that he is the only earning member of the family having two married
daughters and is required to support his ailing wife. It was submitted that convict has a
business where around 2000 employees work and punishment in the form of sentence would
affect the employees and their families adversely. It was submitted that sentence in the form
of incarceration would have an adverse impact on the company which will certainly affect the
employees working therein. It is submitted that convict handles his business alone and for the
sake of welfare of the employees, a lenient view be taken in his favour. It was submitted that
the cases which are shown to be registered against the convict are on account of business
transaction and same should not be viewed adversely against him. It was submitted that the
affidavit filed by the convict disclosing his medical condition supported with doctor’s
prescription calls for lenient view in his favour. It was submitted that convict is contributing to
the society by way of taxes and has reformed himself which may be taken into account as a
strong mitigating factor for the purpose of sentencing. It was submitted that no agony was
caused to the victims of AVUT as the trial in the main Uphaar case resumed after few days
and ended in conviction. It was argued that considering the age, health, medical condition and
his responsibilities, he be awarded minimum punishment.
On behalf of convict Sushil Ansal, it was submitted that he is about 82 years
of age and suffers from numerous ailments. It was submitted that he is suffering from deadly
disease HepatitisC,
Genotype III for which he is constantly under medical watch and
treatment. It was submitted that convict has also a chronic heart condition from the year 2004
onward for which he has to undergo regular medical checkups
as such he is on a high risk
category of suffering a serious heart stroke. He also suffers from asthma and pulmonary
diseases for which he is taking regular medicines. Convict is also suffering from urology
related problems for which he is being treated by the doctors. Convict is also having
opthalmologic problem and he has high IGE level. His sodium and potassium levels
occasionally go low and he also suffers from type II diabetes. He also suffers from hypodensity
in the brain and is being treated for the said ailment. It was submitted that his medical
condition renders him extremely vulnerably to the condition of incarceration as he would not
be able to have the requisite medical attention during incarceration. It was argued that Hon’ble
Supreme Court of India considered his advanced age and ordered “having regard to the
advance age of the accused and other peculiar facts and circumstances if Sushil Ansal pays
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Rs. 30 crores then the sentence will stand reduced to the period already undergone”. It was
submitted that the said consideration was related to 20142015
and thereafter, the medical
complications have aggravated and a lenient view be taken in his favour. It was further argued
that convict Sushil Ansal is engaged in social work and philanthropy and his part of several
pioneering works in the form of hospital at Punjab, one mobile cleaning van for free medical
care in far flung areas for under privileged, NGO “Diya India Foundation” set up two schools
for under privileged children of slum clusters, a Trust for senior citizen at Gurgaon,
augmenting infrastructure development of 11 villages, plantation drive, day care crèche
facility, blood donation camp, during Covid pandemic providing food and shelter to large
number of people, Ansal University running Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Sushant
School of Design, School of Engineering and Technology and Sushil Ansal Foundation,
Kusum Anjali Foundation, Land to ISKCON at Lucknow for spiritual services. It was submitted
that considering his creditable work for the society and in view of reformative
approach, he be
granted minimum sentence. It was submitted that AVUT does not qualify as a victim for the
purpose of compensation in this case as no injury inflicted on it and they suffered no loss and
further as per the statutory provision, they have no standing as a victim in this case. It was
submitted that the trial of the main Uphaar case resumed within a period of ten days as such
no delay was caused in the main Uphaar case and it cannot be assumed that AVUT suffered
any substantial loss in any form due to the alleged act. Convict never caused any
procrastination to the ongoing trial but availed remedies as provided to him by the statute.
It was submitted that the mitigating factors cannot be ignored while sentencing as this case is
relegated to its facts and not to the main Uphaar case.
It was argued on behalf of convict P.P. Batra that many mitigating factors
exists in his favour which calls for lenient view in his favour. It was submitted that he was not a
beneficiary from the crime as it is the admitted case of prosecution that only Ansal Brothers
and H.S. Panwar could have benefited from tampering. Further, no overt act has been
attributed to him and he was not the custodian of the record. It was argued that convict was
himself working as a Stenographer in the legal department of M/s Ansal Properties &
Industries Ltd and was junior most in ranking. Further, no direct pecuniary loss was caused on
account of tampering and the main Uphaar case resulted in conviction obviating any
consequent loss. Convict has faced trial for about thirteen years and during this period, he
had been through immense financial and mental strain and this long trial and the strain is itself
a punishment. The convict has suffered ignominy of the conviction due to the coverage of the
conviction in national newspaper which mentioned his name. Due to his conviction, his family
consisting of unmarried daughter and son is also suffering. Convict has clean antecedents
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and the conviction in this case has diminished his future prospects. It was submitted that the
judicial trend of the superior Court reveal that the Courts lean in favour of least period of
imprisonment and the said trend further reveals that Appellate Courts invariably reduced the
sentence imposed to a few months or the period already undergone. It was submitted that no
minimum period prescribed under section 409 IPC. It was submitted that the instant case had
been tried by this Court on account of territorial jurisdiction which is otherwise triable by a
Court of Metropolitan Magistrate which can impose a maximum sentence of three years.
It was submitted that convict did not wield any influence on the trial and he had limited /
obscure role in the entire act. It was submitted that the conduct of the convict had been over
board during trial as he took less than ten exemptions, not challenged the order on charge,
not taken any adjournment and only cross examined thirty witnesses. It was submitted that
convict is about 60 years of age and a lenient view be taken considering the overall facts and
circumstances.
On behalf of convict Dinesh Chandra Sharma, it was submitted that convict
has already been awarded the most severe punishment in the departmental enquiry whereby
he was dismissed from the service. It was submitted that convict has not only lost his job but
also source of income. It was submitted that the outcome of trial of main Uphaar case was not
affected by the missing / obliterating of documents as accused therein were convicted. It was
submitted that convict has already undergone more than four and a half months imprisonment
in the instant matter. It was submitted that during the course of trial, convict never sought
adjournment or preferred revision against any order as such he never contributed towards
delay of the trial. It was submitted that after losing his service, convict acquired LLB and LLM
degrees. It was submitted that convict has additional responsibility of his brother’s family who
is no more. It was submitted that father of the convict recently passed away adding to the
further responsibilities of the family. Convict is suffering from various ailments like diabetes,
hyper tension, joint pain and he is undergoing medical treatment for the same. It was
submitted that convict has faced humiliation for his earlier incarceration and police custody
remand. Convict has gone through the agony of trial for almost fifteen years. Convict has two
sons and they are not settled in their lives as he is having responsibilities for their future.
It was submitted that convict is reformed person as post this case, he indulged in acquiring
education and taking care of his family. It was submitted that convict has been sufficiently
punished by way of circumstances. Convict has clean antecedents and it is prayed that
considering the gamut of mitigating factors in his favour he be awarded minimum punishment.
On behalf of convict Anoop Singh Karayat, it was submitted that he is a
man having clean antecedents. It was submitted that convict is 73 years of age having several
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age related problems and undergoing medical treatment. It was submitted that wife of the
convict is severely ill and suffering from thyroid cancer and convict is taking care of her and
any punishment in the form of incarceration would be detrimental to her as well as the convict.
It was submitted that convict has great credentials in his favour as he participated in IndoPak
war in 1971 and thereafter, served with SPG for 15 years. Convict received Indian police
medal twice. Convict had an unblemished career during his service with the Indian force.
It was submitted that convict has reputation in the society and he had suffered the ordeal of
trial for 13 years approximately. It was submitted that convict never made any attempt to
procrastinate the trial. It was submitted that he never disobeyed any directions of the Court
and considering the overall facts and circumstances, he may be awarded minimum sentence.
Heard. Perused.
Before adverting to the aspect of punishment, the controversy raised on behalf
of convicts as to whether AVUT be considered as a victim for the purpose of compensation or
not be resolved first. The statutory regime of provisions relevant for consideration are as
under : Section
2(wa) of Cr.P.C : “victim” means a person who has suffered
any loss or injury caused by reason of the act or omission for which
the accused person has been charged and the expression “victim”
includes his or her guardian or legal heir;
Section 39(1)(viii) of Cr.P.C : Every person, aware of the commission
of, or of the intention of any other person to commit, any offence
punishable under section 409 IPC shall in absence of any reasonable
excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie upon the person
so aware, forthwith give information to the nearest magistrate or
police officers of such commission or intention;
Section 357 Cr.P.C : Order to pay compensation : (
1) When a Court
imposes a sentence of fine or a sentence (including a sentence of
death) of which fine forms a part, the Court may, when passing
judgment order the whole or any part of the fine recovered to be
applied (
a) in defraying the expenses properly incurred in the prosecution;
(b) in the payment to any person of compensation for any loss or
injury caused by the offence, when compensation is, in the opinion of
the Court, recoverable by such person in a Civil Court;
(c) when any person is convicted of any offence for having caused
the death of another person or of having abetted the commission of
such an offence, in paying compensation to the persons who are,
under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 (13 of 1855), entitled to recover
damages from the person sentenced for the loss resulting to them
from such death;
(d) when any person is convicted of any offence which includes theft,
criminal misappropriation , criminal breach of trust, or cheating, or of
having dishonestly received or retained, or of having voluntarily
assisted in disposing of, stolen property knowing or having reason to
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believe the same to be stolen, in compensating any bonafide
purchaser of such property for the loss of the same if such property is
restored to the possession of the person entitled thereto.
(2) If the fine is imposed in a case which is subject to appeal, no such
payment shall be made before the period allowed for presenting the
appeal has elapsed, or if an appeal be presented, before the decision
of the appeal.
(3) When a Court imposes a sentence, of which fine does not form a
part, the Court may, when passing judgment order the accused
person to pay, by way of compensation such amount as may be
specified in the order to the person who has suffered any loss or
injury by reason of the act for which the accused person has been so
sentenced.
(4) An order under this section may also be made by an Appellate
Court or by the High Court or Court of Session when exercising its
powers of revision.
(5) At the time of awarding compensation in any subsequent civil suit
relating to the same matter, the Court shall take into account any sum
paid or recovered as compensation under this section.
Section 11 IPC : “Person”The
word “Person” includes any Company
or Association of body of persons, whether incorporated or not.
Section 23 IPC : ‘Wrongful Loss’ and it says that defines ‘Wrongful
Loss’ is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person
losing it is legally entitled:. It is further explained that “a person is
said to lose wrongfully when such person is wrongfully kept out of
any property, as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of
property”.
Section 44 IPC : The word ‘injury’ denotes any harm whatever illegally
caused to any person, in body, mind, reputation or property.
The plea raised on behalf of convict Gopal Ansal and Sushil Ansal that AVUT
do not qualify as a victim for the purpose of compensation under section 357 Cr.P.C is
baseless for the reason that, the word ‘victim’ has a broader connotation and same cannot
be restricted to informant or complainant only. AVUT was a victim in the main Uphaar case
and provided compensation in a civil proceedings. The trial of the said case was hampered
which affected their legal and constitutional rights of fair trial and leading to agony, mental
trauma to the victims. It hardly matters that the documents were reconstructed by way of
secondary evidence and the trial ended in conviction in the main Uphaar case for the
purpose of treating them a victim in this case. In pursuit of justice, AVUT approached the
Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and got this case registered and also pursued later for
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expeditious disposal of the instant case. It has to be borne in mind that the act of the convicts
was opposed to the natural/ legal rights of the victims (AVUT). The offence inflicted hardship
to the victims and in addition to the institution as a laborious exercise of adducing secondary
evidence was undertaken in the main Uphaar case. While construing the scope of “Victim”, a
pragmatic approach has to be adopted as the injury as defined in Section 44 IPC, includes
any harm to mind also. Merely because the acts committed by convicts were prevented from
taking their intended shape, the same is hardly a reason to assume that no injury was
inflicted to AVUT. It is noteworthy that victims eagerly wait for the outcome of the trial and
any assault which derails the trial is an injury on their mind as same causes immense mental
trauma and pain to them. The object of the Code is to ensure a full and fair trial in
accordance with principals of natural justice to accused as well as to victims. Any attack on
the trial process to subvert it would be an attack on the rights of the victims and for the
proceedings emanating from such act the victims of the main case must be considered as
victims despite the case was registered and investigated by the police. The mischief
committed by the convicts in the main Uphaar case leading to the present case would not
preclude AVUT from being categorized as victim as the said crime was done for dual
purpose one for securing acquittal and another for defeating the rights of victims of fair trial.
In Karan v. State Crl. M.A. 352/2020 decided on 27.11.2020, it was
held “…….135. Justice remains incomplete without adequate
compensation to the victim. Justice can be complete only when the victim
is also compensated. In order to give complete mental satisfaction to the
victim, it is extremely essential to provide some solace to him in the form
of compensation so that it can work as a support for the victim to start his
life afresh.
Section 357 and 357A of Cr.P.C – Compensation to victim (s) of crime
….136. Section 357 Cr.P.C empowers the Court to award compensation
to the victim(s) of the offence in respect of the loss/injury suffered. The
object of the section is to meet the ends of justice in a better way. This
section was enacted to reassure the victims that they are not forgotten in
the criminal justice system. The amount of compensation to be awarded
under section 357 Cr.P.C depends upon the nature of crime, extent of
loss/damage suffered and the capacity of the accused to pay for which
the Court has to conduct a summary inquiry. However, if the accused
does not have the capacity to pay the compensation or the compensation
awarded against the accused is not adequate for rehabilitation of the
victim, the Court can invoke section 357A Cr.P.C to recommend the
case to the State/ District Legal Services Authority for award of
compensation from the State funded Victim Compensation Fund under
the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme, 2018. Section 357 Cr.P.C is
mandatory and it is the duty of all Courts to consider it in every criminal
case. The Court is required to give reasons to show such consideration.
….145. There is, therefore, not only statutory empowerment under
section 357 (3) Cr.P.C of the appellate Court to make an appropriate
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order regarding compensation but the mandatory duty of every Court, at
the trial stage as well as the appellate Court to consider and pass an
order of fair and reasonable compensation on relevant factors.
Section 357 and 357A of Cr.P.C.
….159. Section 357 Cr.P.C empowers the Court to award compensation
to victims who have suffered by the action of the accused.
….160. The object of the section 357 (3) Cr.P.C is to provide
compensation to the victims who have suffered loss or injury by reason
of the act of the accused. Mere punishment of the offender cannot give
much solace to the family of the victimcivil
action for damages is a long
drawn and a cumbersome judicial process. Monetary compensation for
redressal by the Court finding the infringement of the indefeasible right
to life of the citizen is, therefore, useful and at time perhaps the only
effective remedy to apply balm to the wounds of the family members of
the deceased victim, who may have been the bread earner of the family.
….161. Section 357 Cr.P.C is intended to reassure the victim that he/she
is not forgotten in the criminal justice system.
….162. Section 357 Cr.P.C is a constructive approach to crimes. It is
indeed a step forward in our criminal justice system.
….163. The power under section 357 Cr.P.C is not ancillary to other
sentences but in addition thereto.
….164. The power under Section 357 Cr.P.C is to be exercised liberally
to meet the ends of justice in a better way.
….165. Section 357 Cr.P.C confers a duty on the Court to apply its mind
on the question of compensation in every criminal case.
….166. The word ‘may’ in Section 357(3) Cr.P.C means ‘shall’ and
therefore, Section 357 Cr.P.C is mandatory.
….167. The Supreme Court in Ankush Shivaji Gaikwad (supra) has given
directions that the Courts shall consider Section 357 Cr.P.C in every
criminal case and if the Court fails to make an order of compensation, it
must furnish reasons.”
So, from the perusal of the statutory provisions and the judgment (Supra), it is
plain that it is not necessary for any person/ association to qualify as a victim to have been
subjected to any physical harm or to any property. The ingredients of the definition of ‘victim’
and ‘injury’ are satisfied if it is prima facie proved that any person / aggregate of persons
received any mental or emotional injury owing to mental trauma or suffering caused to them.
Even if the prosecution is launched by State still the real victims cannot be lose sight of.
The rights of AVUT cannot be watered down merely because they have not been officially
named as a victim in the chargesheet,
however, a broader look is required through the
prism of statutory provisions and judicial precedents to reach out to them for considering
them victim for the purpose of compensation. The plea raised on behalf of Convict Sushil
Ansal that AVUT should have filed Civil Suit for compensation upon coming to know of the
present offence, however it failed to filed and now it is hit by limitation, the said plea is devoid
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of any substance as criminal and civil proceedings operate in different sphere and mere
failure on their part to file Civil Suit cannot foreclose their right of compensation in criminal
proceedings which resulted in conviction. Accordingly, in the considered view of this Court,
AVUT do qualify to be considered as victim for the purpose of compensation in this case.
Now, coming to the mitigating factors which have been put forth on behalf of
convicts for seeking leniency in sentence.
Common mitigating factors putforth on behalf of all the convicts.
All the convicts have rued about their age and ill health condition. It is important
to note that all the convicts were of matured age and well educated at the time of
commission of crime. The trial prolonged due to the delay tactics adopted by them and
obviously with the passage of time, they will grow old and the plea of leniency on this
premise is of no relevance as after due deliberations and consultation amongst each other
they entered into a conspiracy to do such a wicked act knowing fully well its consequences.
Age always progresses and the said phenomenon is known to all and the excuse of old age
and related health complications is of no use considering the gravity of the offence.
The convicts must have thought about the consequences of their acts at the time of hatching
of conspiracy or during its execution. Convicts cannot be permitted to take advantage of their
own wrong as they indulged in procrastination and now, they are playing victim by arguing
that they had gone through the ordeal of long trial and become old and having severe health
problems. In fact, through procrastination, they are successful in agonizing the victims
manifold and it is the victims who had gone through the untold misery during this time.
All the convicts have sought leniency on the ground that they have family
responsibilities, the said arguments also is of no relevance as these convicts were family
men when they committed this nefarious act and were well aware of its consequences.
Other mitigating circumstances on behalf of Convicts.
On behalf of Convict Sushil Ansal, it is sought to be canvassed that he is indulged
in many philanthropic activities, however, it is noted that same are part of the Corporate
Social Responsibilities and even otherwise the gravity of this crime would urge to preclude
the same from the zone of consideration as mitigating circumstance. Further the plea of
running educational institution is also no relevance given the gravity of the offence and the
manner it is committed. Convict indulged into such behaviour despite being involved in
philanthropic activities, belies the bonafides on his part.
On behalf of Convict Gopal Ansal, it was urged that around 2000 people work for
him and he is alone handling the business, however given the enormity of offence and the
peculiarity of the case as it is not any person or association has been victimized but the
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justice system, the said mitigating circumstance is disregarded.
On behalf of Convict P.P. Batra, it was stressed that he was the lowest in the
ranks in the legal department of M/s Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd and had already faced
trauma by way of conviction, and same may be considered as mitigating circumstance, to
this it is observed that, having lower in rank would not be strong enough mitigating
circumstance to escape punishment as he is an educated man working in legal department
having full knowledge of the consequences of the acts and indulged in the same for the sake
of his employers and obviously for his personal gain.
On behalf of Convict Dinesh Chandra Sharma, it was pointed out that he has
reformed himself as he acquired LLB and LLM degree during the interregnum, the said plea
is devoid of any substance, as being the custodian of the record he was under an obligation
to keep it safe and should have rebuffed any allurement by the other convicts, however on
the contrary being educated and custodian of the judicial record he entered into criminal
conspiracy to eradicate the portion of the record. He miserably failed to discharge his duties
in the manner expected from him. He was well aware of the pitfalls of such transgression.
Further, mere acquisition of degrees is not a mitigating factor capable enough to convince
the Court that convict has reformed himself. The mitigating circumstance of acquiring
degrees is required to be disregarded and it is imperative that appropriate punishment be
handed over to him so that others working in such responsible position be deterred.
On behalf of Convict Anoop Singh Karayat, it was outlined that he was a
decorated officer, the said plea is useless as being an educated and decorated officer he
should not have conspired with the other convicts to cause disappearance of important piece
of evidence to screen offender. He made overt acts to prevent evidence coming to the
possession of police.
Both convicts Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal have been convicted earlier as
such they are not first time offenders. Convicts Dinesh Chandra Sharma, P. P. Batra and
Anoop Singh Karayat have apparently clean antecedents however given the enormity of
offence and the gravity of crime committed against the institution of justice, same are of no
consequence.
Now, at the time when the sentence is to be pronounced, the convicts have
stated that they have reformed or are remorseful or repentant for what ever they have done
and are seeking forgiveness, but the regrets offered by the convicts are hollow and their aim
is to only escape the punishment.
It is important to note that in a sentencing process, it is not only the crime that is
important but the criminal and his/her circumstances are also equally important. The
// 12 //
circumstances during which the instant crime was committed show the deep disrespect
which the convicts had for the law and the judicial process and for the victims.
The foundation of judiciary is premised on the trust and confidence of the people
and any action which is aimed to thwart the said foundation cannot be permitted and is
required to be dealt with utmost strictness. This case is not only related to prosecution and
AVUT but the sentencing in this case must respond to the cry of the society.
The DSLSA has suggested in the Victim Impact Report (VIR) that victims have
suffered “incalculable harm” and the quantum of compensation also proposed is
“incalculable”. So far as the expenditure incurred by the State is concerned, same is
quantified as Rs.15,251/.
After analyzing the income proofs submitted by convicts, Sushil
Ansal and Gopal Ansal are better placed in terms of financial capacity than others to provide
compensation to the victims.
Given the enormity of the offence and the manner of its execution by the
custodian of the judicial record in conspiracy with other convicts calls for a appropriate
sentence which is proportionate to the gravity of offence and capable of having deterrent
effect on the potential offenders. The discretion so vested with the court should be exercised
judiciously keeping in view the larger interest of the society by protecting the institutional
integrity. Misplaced sympathy or unwarranted leniency will sent a wrong signal to the public
giving room to suspect the institutional integrity and would affect its creditability. Inadequate
sentence would do more harm to the justice system and would undermine the public
confidence in the efficacy of the law as society could not long endure such assaults on the
justice system. Therefore, it is the duty of the court to award such sentence having regard to
the nature of the offence and the manner it was committed. It is noteworthy that too lenient
sentence would be akin to closing the eyes to the agony and anguish of the victims and the
public at large. Collective cry of the society must be responded by way of appropriate
punishment to prevent reoccurrence
of such crimes. The plea of the Prosecution and the
victims that exemplary punishment be handed over to the convicts has substance and same
is required to prevent such incidents in future.
After balancing the mitigating circumstances against aggravating
circumstances, this court is of considered view that facts do not warrant any distinction
amongst convicts for the purpose of punishment except compensation part and accordingly
convicts are handed over punishment for the offence U/S 120B
IPC, considering the
punishment for offence U/S 409 IPC as per Section 120B (1) IPC as under :
1. Convict Sushil Ansal is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,00,000/(
Rupees One Crore) for offence u/s 120B
IPC.
// 13 //
In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six
months.
2. Convict Gopal Ansal is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,00,000/(
Rupees One Crore) for offence u/s 120B
IPC. In
default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
3. Convict P. P. Batra is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple Imprisonment
and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 120B IPC. In default of fine,
convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
4. Convict Dinesh Chandra Sharma is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 120B IPC. In
default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
5. Convict Anoop Singh Karayat is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 120B IPC. In
default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
For the offence u/s 409/120B
IPC as under :
1. Convict Sushil Ansal is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,00,000/(
Rupees One Crore) for offence u/s 409/120B
IPC. In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
2. Convict Gopal Ansal is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,00,000/(
Rupees One Crore) for offence u/s 409/ 120B
IPC. In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
3. Convict P. P. Batra is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple Imprisonment
and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 409/120B IPC. In default of fine,
convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
4. Convict Dinesh Chandra Sharma is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 409/120B IPC.
In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
5. Convict Anoop Singh Karayat is sentenced to Seven Years (07 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 409/120B IPC.
In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
For the offence u/s 201/120B
IPC considering the import of Section 409 IPC
as under :
1. Convict Sushil Ansal is sentenced to Three Years (03 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.25,00,000/(
Rupees Twenty Five Lakhs) for offence u/s
// 14 //
201/120B
IPC. In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six
months.
2. Convict Gopal Ansal is sentenced to Three Years (03 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.25,00,000/(
Rupees Twenty Five Lakhs) for offence u/s
201/120B
IPC. In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six
months.
3. Convict P. P. Batra is sentenced to Three Years (03 Years) Simple Imprisonment
and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 201/120B
IPC. In default of
fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
4. Convict Dinesh Chandra Sharma is sentenced to Three Years (03 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 201/120B
IPC.
In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
5. Convict Anoop Singh Karayat is sentenced to Three Years (03 Years) Simple
Imprisonment and fine of Rs.1,00,000/(
Rupees One Lakh) for offence u/s 201/120B
IPC.
In default of fine, convict shall further undergo Simple Imprisonment for Six months.
However, the sentence must reflect a reformative approach and same cannot be
given complete go by, and considering the same in the light of the submissions made on
behalf of the convicts by Ld Counsels, it is directed that the sentences shall run concurrently.
Since no amount of compensation can alleviate the agony, trauma and the
pain suffered by the family members of the victims however compensation in the form of
money can provide some succor to them. Accordingly, the amount of fine imposed on each
convict shall be paid as compensation to the victim AVUT considering the mandate of
Section 357 CrPC after disbursing the cost incurred by the Prosecution.
Benefit of section 428 Cr.P.C is extended to convicts wherever applicable.
Bail bonds of convicts are cancelled. Their sureties are discharged.
All the convicts are taken into custody and sent to JC to serve the sentence.
Copy of this order be given to all the convicts and be sent with the conviction
warrants for compliance.
Copy of this order be provided to AVUT and be sent to DSLSA for information
and necessary action.
Announced in the open court
today i.e. 08.11.2021 at 02.30 p.m.
(Dr. Pankaj Sharma)
CMM/ND/Patiala House Courts
New Delhi/08.11.2021
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