HC dismisses accused’s plea seeking discharge from robbery case

The HC held that the petition was without merit and refused to quash the lower court’s order.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The Bombay High Court has dismissed a man’s plea to discharge himself from a case in which he is accused of using a knife along with three accomplices to rob two siblings in Govandi.

The incident took place at 10.30 p.m. on December 6, 2016, when Kishor Londhe and his sister were waiting at a bus stop. They were planning to head to Biroba Temple to offer prayers when the accused, Shadab Mehndi, and his three accomplices accosted them. Mr. Mehndi allegedly placed a knife against Mr. Londhe’s neck and the accomplice snatched Mr. Londhe’s wallet. Another accomplice grabbed Mr. Londhe’s sister’s purse and the fourth accused assaulted her.

A complaint was filed at Deonar police station and an FIR was registered under Sections 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 392 (punishment for robbery) and 34 (act done by several people with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. The accused were arrested on December 8 and the knife was recovered.

Mr. Mehndi then moved an application before the sessions court seeking that he be discharged from the case or Section 397 be removed from the FIR. The court rejected the plea.

‘Trial only under Sec. 392’

Mr. Mehndi then filed a criminal petition in the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the lower court’s order. Advocate Subhash Jha, appearing for Mr. Mehndi, said the invocation of Section 397 is nothing but an interpretation of ingredients pertaining to the offences of robbery and dacoity. However, the single Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre said that Mr. Mehndi should be tried only under Section 392.

Justice Dangre said, “Section 397 is very peculiar in the sense that it deals with a situation where at the time of committing robbery or dacoity, the offender uses any deadly weapon, or causes grievous hurt to any person, or attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person. Such an offence is then punishable with rigorous imprisonment for not less than seven years and is triable by the Court of Sessions. It is pertinent to note that Section 397 uses the phraseology ‘uses any deadly weapon’.”

The Bench further said, “The Section implies the term ‘use of any deadly weapon’ in disjunct of the remaining terms and it necessarily conveys that if the offender uses the deadly weapon for committing robbery or dacoity, Section 397 is attracted. The ‘use of deadly weapon’ to put the person in fear of instant death, causing him to deliver the thing extorted, is the necessary ingredient which would make a person liable for punishment under Section 397.”

Justice Dangre held Mr. Mehndi’s petition to be without merit and refused to quash the lower court’s order. The court then dismissed Mr. Mehndi’s plea.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 7:52:47 PM |

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