A 93-year-old woman, sentenced to three years jail for breaking into a shop and stealing things during the 1984 riots and then illegally occupying it, has been allowed to walk free by the Supreme Court which reduced her punishment to the period spent in prison.
Ashi Devi remained in Tihar Jail from February 5, 2009 to May 13, 2009 for looting crockery items from the shop. The bench of justices JS Kehar and C Nagappan reduced her sentence to the period already undergone by her in jail.
"Considering her old age, we are inclined to modify the sentence awarded to her," the bench said. The court, however, upheld the Delhi High Court and trial court's verdicts in the case.
"In our view the conviction and sentence imposed on the appellant (Ashi Devi) and other convicts are correct and proper," it said. Ashi Devi along with three others were tried and convicted by the trial court for offences including theft and trespass under the IPC. Later, the high court also upheld the same.
According to prosecution, Prakash Kaur and her son Jagjit Singh were running two crockery shops at Takriwalan here and convict Ashi and others were their neighbours.
After the riots broke, the convicts looted articles after trespassing into the shops and kept them in illegal possession for almost two decades. Victim Kaur and her son were informed that their shops had been looted and when they visited them, they did find the goods there.
When the Jain Aggarwal Committee was constituted, the victims filed affidavits about the incident and an FIR was registered on the direction of the panel against the accused in January 1993 and later, a charge sheet was filed.