The Delhi High Court has upheld the three-year sentence handed down to a head constable for firing at a man with his official weapon in 1996 while in the company of his criminal associates.
Upholding the order of a trial court, a bench of Justice S P Garg denied any relief to Liyakat Ali, saying he was in direct nexus with criminals, and asked him to surrender before the lower court tomorrow for serving his sentence.
Liyakat had moved the high court challenging the trial court's January, 1999 order sentencing him to three-year jail term and a fine of Rs 4,000 for attempt to murder.
"The appellant (Liyakat Ali) was a head constable in Delhi Police and was provided with a service revolver and 12 live cartridges for self protection. Instead of using the official weapon for the purpose it was issued, he associated with criminals and went to the spot where there was a quarrel over sharing of money among the two groups," the bench said.
"He had a direct nexus with the individuals having criminal background and assisted them in their fight against the other... The appellant does not deserve leniency due to having direct nexus/association with the criminals," it said.
Liyakat was held guilty of firing at complainant Sanjay with his service revolver on May 12, 1996 near railway crossing in east Delhi during a quarrel involving two of his accomplices who were acquitted by the trial court.
The head constable had told the court that he should be released on probation as he has no previous criminal record and was at the fag end of his career.
To this, the bench said, "Being a head constable in Delhi Police and after having being provided with a pistol for his protection and protection of the family members, he was not expected to use it at the instance of an individual whose criminal antecedents were known to him."
The bench rejected his plea of firing in self defence.
On his plea for leniency, the bench said, "While awarding the sentence, the trial court considered the mitigating circumstances and took into consideration the exemplary work of the appellant and also getting out-of-turn promotion.
"The appellant was awarded rigorous imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rs 3,000 for attempt to murder.
Apparently, lenient view has been taken by the trial court."