Mere payment of fine - Employment
summary trial proceedings and what had the appellant pleaded to as guilty, whether to the allegations in the FIR or to the provision of the IPC or any other particular? Mere payment of fine of Rs.20/- does not go to show that the conviction was validly and legally recorded. Assuming that the conviction is not open to challenge at the present juncture, we cannot but deprecate the action of the respondents in having proceeded to adversely certify the character and antecedents of the appellant on the basis of the conviction per se, opining to have involved moral turpitude, without satisfying the tests laid down in the policy decision of the government. We are rather unhappy to note that all the three courts below, even when invited to judge the matter in the said perspective, went on to hold that the act/s involved in conviction under section 294 IPC per se established moral turpitude. They should have been sensitive to the changing perspectives and concepts of morality to appreciate the effect of Section 294 IPC on today's society and its standards, and its changing views of obscenity. The matter unfortunately was dealt with casually at all levels.
Before concluding this judgment we hereby draw attention of the Parliament to step in and perceive the large many cases which per law and public policy are tried summarily, involving thousands and thousands of people through out the country appearing before summary courts and paying small amounts of fine, more often than not, as a measure of plea-bargaining. Foremost along them being traffic, municipal and other petty offences under the India;
Penal Code, mostly committed by the young and/or the inexperienced. The cruel result of a conviction of that kind and a fine of payment of a paltry sum on plea-bargaining is the end of the career, future or present, as the case may be, of that young and/or in experienced person, putting a blast to his life and his dreams. Life is too precious to be staked over a petty incident like this. Immediate remedial measures are therefore necessary in raising the toleration limits with regard to petty offences especially when tried summarily. Provision need be made that punishment of fine upto a certain limit, say upto Rs.2000/- or so, on a summary/ordinary conviction shall not be treated as conviction at all for any purpose and all the more for entry into and retention in government service. This can brook no delay, whatsoever.