New Delhi, April 21 (PTI): Three youths convicted for assaulting a policewoman have been set free on a one-year probation by a Delhi court on the ground that lack of education and immaturity could be the reasons for the crime.
Additional sessions judge Ajay Kumar Jain released Navin, Ravi and Rohit, all of whom are 25 years old, on the condition of good conduct. The trio, who had spent a month in jail, were also told to be ready for punishment, if needed.
"Lack of education and immaturity seem to be the possible reasons for what happened and this period (the probation) would hopefully make them responsible and sensible. Therefore, in these circumstances, the benefit of probation is extended to the convicts and they are directed to execute a bond to keep peace and good conduct... for a period of one year, with the condition that they shall come and receive the punishment as and when such circumstances arise," the judge said.
The court said that since the offence for which the youths had been convicted entailed a maximum punishment of one year in jail, the one month they spent behind bars was a "sufficient deterrent".
"The convicts are young boys and have already spent around one month in custody and are convicted for offence under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC, in which the maximum sentence is one year," judge Jain said.
"Thus, the deterrence which a punishment could have given is already there.... The convicts are not found to be involved in any criminal offence after the present case," he added.
The judge said if the youths spent more time in custody, they would "interact with persons on the wrong side of the law" and extending the benefit of probation would be more appropriate "as that would not only persuade the youths, but also put pressure on them, to abide by the law".
The judge imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on each of the three, which they paid.
According to the prosecution, on July 1, 2013, a woman sub-inspector of Delhi police was walking home after duty at 10pm when the three youths blocked her way and assaulted her.
The trio were arrested from the spot by police officers who were patrolling the area. They were charged with molestation but it was scrapped by the court, which found the policewoman's claims exaggerated.
During the trial, the youths had denied the allegations, claiming they had been falsely implicated.