Unique Punishment: Instead of 3 years Imprisonment, Supreme Court directs doctor to plant 100 trees in a year
New Delhi: In a unique kind of punishment for a crime that was attempted by a doctor during his teenage years, the Supreme Court has ordered the doctor to plant 100 trees within a year. The court while ordering the same also set aside a HC order that spelt out 3 year jail time for the medico.
Retrospectively, the Supreme Court has directed a registered medical practitioner to plant 100 trees within a year for attempting to commit murder while he was a teenager. Presently, 32-years old, the doctor was convicted under IPC Section 307 and sentenced to three years of imprisonment at the age of 16.
The case relates to one doctor practising in West Bengal who allegedly attempted to commit a murder during his teenage in the year 2004. The case was reported in the Calcutta High Court wherein the court had ordered 3 years of imprisonment to him
In a counteract, the doctor filed a Special Leave Petition under Section 9 (2) of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015 (Juvenile Justice Act, 2015), seeking a declaration that he was a Juvenile on the date of the offence.
However, the court disposed of the plea.
The doctor then again moved the apex court, admitting that he was a minor at the time of offence committed in 2004. Hearing the plea, a bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta directed the District and Sessions Judge, Berhampore, Murshidabad, West Bengal to check out the doctor's story.
The Report of the District and Sessions Judge, Berhampore, submitted in its report that the doctor was indeed a minor of 16 years seven months and 28 days on the date of the offence.
Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act states that if a juvenile is found accused, then he would be a child in conflict with the law and he has to referred to the Juvenile Justice Board.
As the offence was committed in 2004, we do not feel it appropriate to send the petitioner to be dealt with by the Board. Instead we are of the opinion that the ends of justice would be met by directing the petitioner who is now a registered medical practitioner aged 32 years, practising in Murshidabad to perform community service. The learned counsel for the state suggested that this obligation of performing community service could be met with by a direction being to the petitioner to plant trees. We accept the suggestion made by the learned counsel for the petitioner and direct the petitioner to plant 100 trees within a period of one year."