The judge said extending the benefit of probation would compel them to be on the right side of law.
Three youths, convicted for assaulting a woman police official in 2013, have been allowed to walk free by a Delhi court which extended them the benefit of probation, saying lack of education and immaturity could be the reasons for their act.
Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Jain released Navin, Ravi and Rohit, all of whom are 25-year-old and have already spent a month in jail, on probation for one year, with a direction to maintain good conduct.
According to the prosecution, on July 1, the woman, a sub inspector with Delhi Police, was walking home at 10 pm when the three men blocked her way and assaulted her.
The convicts were apprehended by cops who were patrolling the area. A charge of molestation was also slapped against them but was removed by the court as it found the woman's claims exaggerated. During the trial, the youths claimed they were falsely implicated
"The period of probation would hopefully make them responsible and sensible," the judge said adding that the convicts have been directed to maintain peace and good conduct and furnish a surety bond of Rs 10,000 for a period of one year, with the condition that they shall come and receive the punishment as and when such circumstances arise.
The court also said that since the offence under which the youths were convicted entailed a maximum of one year jail term, the period of one month spent behind bars by them was a sufficient deterrent.
"Convicts herein are young boys and have already spent around one month in custody and are convicted for offence under section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of IPC in which maximum sentence is one year. Thus, the deterrence which a punishment could have given is already there...The convicts are not found to be involved in any criminal offence after the present case...The custodial sentence would further give an opportunity to them to interact with the persons on the wrong side of the law," it said.
It further said that extending the benefit of probation was more appropriate as that would compel them to be on the right side of law. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on each of them.