HC refuses to suspend sentence

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Sept 19: The High Court today declined to suspend the sentence and grant bail to a murder accused.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said the accused has failed to make out his case for suspension of sentence awarded to him by the trial court and he on his conviction cannot raise a plea of being innocent.
Court said the presumption of innocence in the appeal is not available to the appellant-accused as is available to him before the trial court.
“Since there is a positive finding of the trial court that the case has been proved by the prosecution based on formidable, circumstantial as well as oral evidence supported by medical and forensic evidence,” Court said.
Court opined that the appeal which was filed on 04.02.2022 cannot be said to be pending for the last 4/5 years as required by the Supreme Court. “We are also of the opinion that the Criminal Appeals of under-trials (life convicts) or the persons who are in custody for longer duration, will not take much of the time to be heard finally”, Court recorded.
Court has also made it clear that there is no difficulty in hearing this appeal after ministerial formalities of preparing and furnishing a paper-book to the concerned parties are completed. “The appellant, through the medium of the appeal and composite application, was seeking suspension of sentence and grant of bail pending appeal filed by him as well as Criminal Reference received from the court of learned Principal Sessions Judge Pulwama.
He has been convicted for the commission of offences punishable under Section 302 and 392 RPC vide trial court judgment dated 04.02.2022 in FIR No. 72/2011 registered at Police Station Pulwama. After the completion of full dressed trial of the challan he was awarded life imprisonment under Section 302 RPC and one year rigorous imprisonment under Section 392 RPC with the direction that both the sentences of imprisonment were ordered to run concurrently.
The challenge of trial court verdict and application for suspension of sentence and grant of bail has also been moved by the appellant-convict, asserting that he since his arrest on 11.04.2011 has been in continuous custody and has completed 10 years and 10 months in jail.