A Delhi court has refused to take a lenient view towards two thieves for stealing a man’s mobile phone in a bus here, observing that “drastic spurt” in theft cases calls for a “strict sentence” to deter anti-social elements. The court made the observation while sentencing Bablu and Harish, both residents of Delhi, to three years rigorous jail term and imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on each for offences of theft and dishonestly receiving stolen property under the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Delhi Police (DP) Act. “The court is of the considered view that there is drastic spurt in the incidents of theft and awarding of strict sentence is necessary to have a deterrent effect upon all anti social elements in the society,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg said. The magistrate also said the convicts did not deserve to be given the benefit of probation under Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 due to the gravity of offences committed by them. According to the prosecution, on October 5, 2015 when complainant Atul Kumar boarded a bus from Saket Metro station to go back home after work, Bablu pushed him from behind and stole his mobile phone and handed it over to his accomplice Harish, who was standing behind him.
A police official, however, immediately came and arrested both the accused on the spot, it said, adding that besides the victim’s mobile phone, four other phones were recovered from them. During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations levelled against them and contended that they were innocent. The court also rejected their claim that the police story had contradictions regarding place and time of the incident and said minor contradictions appearing in the prosecution case are “insignificant and immaterial”.
“In view of the above discussion, the court holds that the prosecution has been successful in establishing that both the accused dishonestly took out mobile phone from the possession of the complainant,” it said. The court held them guilty of offences punishable under sections 379(theft) and 411(dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC and Section 103 (possession of property of which no satisfactory account can be given) of DP Act.