A court in Delhi on Friday sentenced a man to rigorous imprisonment for seven years and his father to three years of simple imprisonment in two separate cases, saying the father, instead of showing the “right path” to his son, himself “acted ghastly".
The court, which was hearing the cases related to the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, also observed that communal riots are among the most violent forms of public disorder that afflicts society.
Additional sessions judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing two cases against Mithhan Singh and his son Jony Kumar who were convicted of various offences, including those under IPC Sections 147 (rioting) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.)
“Convict Jony Kumar shall undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of seven years and convict Mithhan Singh shall undergo simple imprisonment for a period of three years for offence punishable under Section 436 IPC,” the judge said in the orders.
“Communal riot is that menace, which poses a serious threat to the sense of fraternity among the citizens of our nation. Communal riots are treated as one of the most violent forms of public disorder that afflicts society and it leads to not only loss of life and property but also causes great damage to social fabric,” the judge added.
Noting the background of the convicts, ASJ Pramachala said the overall assessment showed “they were prone to get carried away by a misconceived sense of religious cause".
“... I also find that convict Mithhan Singh did not act as a good father and being a good person or father is not dependent upon elementary education. He was expected to show the right path to Jony, but instead of that he himself acted ghastly with Jony,” the judge said.
He also rejected the argument of the accused's counsel that courts are only meant to decide a case not to send a message to society.
“A court does decide a case, and while deciding the sentence, the court does take into consideration the impact of crime and action being taken by the court over the psychology of society,” the judge said.
“In the present case, the sentence must be based on the consideration of balancing the impact of crime on society, requisite treatment to the psychology of society and the condition of the convicts,” the judge added.
The court also slapped Singh and Kumar with fines of Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively in FIR number 239 and the same amount in FIR number 244. For the offences under IPC sections 427 (mischief damage to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) in the second case, Singh has to pay a total fine of Rs 10,000, it said.
Khajuri Khas police station had registered two FIRs against Singh and Kumar and the court had convicted the accused in two separate judgments pronounced on March 28 (FIR no 244) and April 10 (FIR no 239).