New Delhi: A man has been sentenced to five months in jail by a Delhi court after eight years of trial for assaulting a roadside vendor, who had objected to his act of picking up a banana from the fruit cart of his neighbouring vendor without paying for it.
While holding rickshaw puller Mohammed Akhtar guilty of assaulting and injuring snacks vendor Munir Khan, Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Chhavi Kapoor, however, set off his sentence against the five-month imprisonment already undergone by him during the trial.
The court waived his sentence saying he has suffered the "ignominy of a long and protracted trial".
"The trial of the present case went on for 8 years. The convict (Akhtar) has already suffered the ignominy of a long and protracted trial. In these circumstances of the case, I am not inclined to grant maximum punishment as provided under the provisions of section 324 of the IPC," the magistrate said.
The prosecution case dated back to November 2004 when Munir Khan had parked his snacks cart near that of a fruit vendor selling bananas in Sadar Bazar area here.
Police said the banana seller had gone nearby, telling Khan to look after his cart. Meanwhile, Akhtar came there and picked up a banana without paying for it and without Khan's permission.
It said as Khan objected to it, Akhtar attacked him with a knife and caused injuries on his ears due to which he became unconscious and had to be rushed to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital. Akhtar was later arrested and spent five months in jail during trial.
Akhtar sought leniency saying he was a first-time offender and has to support his family comprising his wife and four minor children and showed remorse for his act.
The court said, "Keeping in mind the nature and the gravity of the offence, in my opinion, it will meet the ends of justice, if the convict Akhtar is sentenced to the period already undergone by him as an undertrial in this case as punishment for the offence."