An Iranian court sentenced a man to 10 months in prison and 40 lashes for stealing three packs of cashews, Fars news agency reported on Monday.
The conservative news agency described the verdict as surprising and pointed to the “disproportion between the sentence and the crime committed.”
It called on the judiciary to “explain or correct” the ruling against the 45-year-old father of three.
The judiciary’s Mizan Online agency announced the formation of a “special commission” in Qom province to study the issue of the “proportionality of the offence.”
It did not specify where the trial took place.
The commission “will try to use all legal abilities to reduce the sentence,” Mizan Online said.
It added that the offender had “been sentenced to one year in prison for theft in 2019, but his sentence had been suspended due to the return of the stolen goods.”
The latest ruling drew ridicule on social media, with many drawing a comparison with the classic Victor Hugo novel Les Miserables.
“Nearly 160 years after the publication of Les Miserables... the Jean Valjeans continue to be condemned,” one user wrote, referring to the ex-convict depicted in the book.
Fars explained that the sentence was final because it was not appealed. It did not disclose the name or location of the convicted man.